INDOOR CRICKET: Rayleigh cricket club became the South Essex womens' indoor sixes champions for the fourth consecutive year at Gable Hall School, Corringham on Thursday (27th March). But their title hopes were far from certain when their opponents, Thurrock CC, bagged two wickets from the first two deliveries, to leave Rayleigh in the ignominious position of having lost a third of their batsmen with only one run on the board. Freya Barnard had pushed the first ball of the match for a single, only to be run out at the bowler's end in an attempt for further runs. Karen Lees was then bowled by Sarah Fergey without score as Rayleigh reeled. However, Elisha Brett steadied the ship with a fine undefeated innings worth 26 runs, which included one six hit. This helped close the innings on a respectable 77 for the loss of three wickets.
Thurrock, in reply, lost openers Allison Edmeades and Tracey Sloan to the bowling of Louise Harmsworth (1-4) and Brett (1-26) with eleven runs scored. The Grays-based team then slumped to 20-5 and all looked lost from their perspective. But the one remaining batsman, Fergey, had other ideas and struck three sixes and one four in a brave attempt to snatch the title. Fergey's assault on the Rayleigh attack only came to a close when she was dismissed on the final ball of the allocation. 14 runs was the winning margin between these two previously unbeaten teams as Thurrock closed with a total score of 53. Rayleigh's Lees finished with two wickets at a cost of eight runs from one over.
In the remaining match of this Thurrock Sports Council sponsored event, Stanford defeated Belhus by 49 runs. The East Thurrock team posted 86 for the loss of the three wickets. Main contributors were Hannah Wellard, 25 not out, Rhiannon Hales, 20, and Olivia Wyatt with 10 not out. Wickets were taken by Olivia Potter, 2-9 and Emily Wood, 1-15, from two overs each.
In reply, Belhus closed on 37 for the loss of five wickets, for whom Potter top scored with nine runs while Libby Cansdale was the undefeated batsman with six runs to her name. Four players featured in the Stanford bowling stakes. Hales finished with 1-14 and Casey Jenkins staked 1-7, both of whom bagged a wicket maiden in their second over. Wyatt conceded just three runs from as many overs, finishing with a maiden. Wellard completed a fine all-round performance by claiming 2-20.