Bishop's Stortford Cricket Club under-14 girls push St Albans in Hertfordshire League final
Emelia Godber top-scored with 22 as Bishop's Stortford under-14 girls gave an excellent account of themselves in the Hertfordshire League final against St Albans.
Her efforts with the bat proved to be in vain as her team lost the match, but reaching the final was a brilliant achievement in only the club's second year running the girls' section as part of the junior setup.
St Albans won the toss and elected to bat, beginning steadily before their under-15 and under-13 county players started to get hold of short-pitched balls and find the boundary.
Stortford bowled and fielded with great spirit and skill, but struggled to cope with their more experienced opposition who ended on 319 for 4. Millie Siggins claimed two wickets and there was one apiece for Frances Mackinlay and Florence Bellerby.
The Stortford girls fought hard in their bid to chase the total in reply, with Elizabeth Clune (17 not out) and Poppy O'Toole sharing a 24-run partnership. But the runs dried up and wickets fell to leave them well behind the run rate.
Godber and Mackinlay also put on a 24-run stand towards the end, but it was too little, too late.
"It was very disappointing to lose, but St Albans were a better side and our girls should grow from the experience as we had five players from our under-12 squad in the group," said coach Joe Clune. "We'll come back fighting again next year."
Stortford's under-12s only narrowly missed out on making the final in their own competition after finishing level on points with Radlett, only to be pipped due to losing to them earlier in the year.
"The success of the girls' section has been due to an excellent collaboration with neighbouring cricket clubs allowing their girls to play for Stortford as well as their own mixed sides, so players from Stansted Hall, Braughing, Sawbridgeworth and Thorley join with Stortford girls," said Clune.
"Six of the girls have progressed to play with the county age-group sides and for the senior ladies' side, which plays in a very competitive league.
"We hope the section can grow and bring through the next generation of ladies' first-team players, and ideally develop a second team soon."