CELEBRATING women and girls’ cricket and encouraging more to take up the sport was marked with a special day at venues on the Isle of Wight.

As part of the ECB’s nationwide initiative to boost the women’s game, Women’s Big Cricket Month, in September, the Isle of Wight Cricket Board (IWCB) supported games and cricket-related activities at Arreton Cricket Club and at Newclose County Cricket Ground.

Isle of Wight County Press:

At Newclose, two girls matches were played on the morning of the recent MCC tour match against an Isle of Wight Development XI.

The teams were coached by Andy Woodward, Andy Day, Kate Barton and Claire Everard, with the girls benefitting from their wealth of coaching experience.

In the first match, the Wight Wonders were beaten by the Solent Strikers, by six wickets.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Despite a couple of early wickets, Solent captain, Lily Millward, put in a great batting performance, retiring on 25, well supported by Alexis Owen (14 not out).

Ella Kirby (3-13) was the pick of the Wight Wonders bowling.

The Wonders fought back hard in the second innings and made a great start batting.

Their captain, Emmy Breach reached 25 with ease to retire, while Cully Trevallion  (21 not out) carried the bat and scored the winning run to finish on 107-2 with four balls to spare.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The second match saw the Wight Falcons defeat the Wight Whackers by five wickets.

Tight Falcons bowling restricted the Whackers to 67, with Esme Finch top scoring with 13 not out.

Erin Young took a wicket with her first ball to finish on 1-9.

The Whackers kept the bowling tight too, with a great first wicket from Evie Bennett (1-12), a caught and bowled.

However, the Falcons fought hard and took the game to the final over, scoring 71, with Poppy Robinson hitting the winning run.

Isle of Wight County Press: Girls playing a match at Newclose. Girls playing a match at Newclose.

Meanwhile, at Arreton, a group of girls played their first ever game, against an under-tens boys’ team in the morning.

The girls, who had been preparing with weekly Sunday training, bowled, batted and fielded extremely well and gave the boys a close game, losing by 20 runs.

The team comprised Jessie Tuck, Jessica Longson, Bess Rollinson, Cerys Fairweather, Faith Smith and Berrie Chatfield.

In the afternoon, it was the turn of the ladies to take the field in an intra-club softball match, 16 overs a side.

Isle of Wight County Press: Action from a seven-a-side match as part of the ECB’s Women’s and Girls’ Cricket Month initiative, at Arreton.Action from a seven-a-side match as part of the ECB’s Women’s and Girls’ Cricket Month initiative, at Arreton.

In a close contest, the blues batted first and set a target of 90 runs, with Clare Harwood (23) and Nicola Longson (18) top scoring, with Debbie Chatfield getting 2-6.

The first ball of the pinks innings was a golden duck, with Beck Frost having Chatfield caught by Chloe Dove in the deep.

But the pinks quickly got into their stride to finish their 16 overs with 108-2, with Sarah Maidment (20) and Georgie Mackett (20) retiring and Jo Tuck (15 not out) the pinks’ top scorers, while Frost grabbed 1-16.

Next came a 16-over ladies seven-a-side game, which gave every player the opportunity to have a bat and bowl, on the back of the return of ladies’ training at Arreton on a Thursday this summer.

Arreton chairman, Tina Cooper, said: “There were some great performances to show members of their family and I am grateful for all those who came along to support their wives, daughters, nans and friends.

“It was a cracking afternoon.”

To coincide with the event, Arreton hosted a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan, which raised £150.

After the day’s events, one of the girls’ parents said: “It was a fabulous morning of girls’ cricket. My daughter was very happy and relieved to see girls’ cricket has an amazing platform and recognition at Newclose.”

Peter Millward, the father of Lily, who performed well in the opening match at Newclose, added: “Lily wanted me to thank you all for a great few months of cricket. It’s exactly what was needed at precisely the right time after lockdown.

“The coaching team’s time and commitment has energised girls’ cricket on the Island.”

IWCB development manager, Stuart Chatfield, saidthe board was keen to see more ladies and girls getting involved in cricket, whether it be playing, volunteering as coaches, managing or being an official.

“The event attracted 36 girls and 14 ladies, who all played and really enjoyed this great game — a great start to developing sustainable women’s and girls’ cricket at clubs on the Island,” he said.

“It isn’t just the traditional format of hard ball cricket we are offering. It is softball as well, which is a great way to get back into the game, or play for the first time.”

  • To find out more about getting involved in cricket on and off the field, contact Stuart Chatfield: stuart.chatfield@iwcb.org.uk