‘Cliffe women take heart

Lightcliffe ladies cricket team - Fiona Ellwood making her maiden 50
Lightcliffe ladies cricket team - Fiona Ellwood making her maiden 50

LIGHTCLIFFE CC womens’ long trip to Sheffield provided plenty of positives but no points on a cool and windy Sunday afternoon.

Winning the toss, skipper Angela Monaghan chose to bat, mindful that two team members were still en-route after forgotten boots and navigational nightmares and another was last seen on Saturday night in Sowerby Bridge.

Sharon Clarke departed quickly, done for by a leg stump yorker, followed not long after and in similar fashion by Sue Godden. Fiona Ellwood and Angela Monaghan consolidated well for the next 10 overs. showing good technique in defence on a soft surface against tight bowling until the captain’s rash call and an accurate throw left Ellwood stranded. Christine Cooper, fresh from a full guided tour of Sheffield, wished she was still in the car as she got an unplayable ‘grubber’ only a few balls in.

Mongahan and Charlotte Oates then put together the highest partnership with Oates becoming the only Lightcliffe player to find the boundary through the longish outfield in an excellent 21.

Having waited for 20 overs, her first boundary was followed next ball by another good strike through mid-wicket to the edge. There was little more to come once they were both dismissed and, despite a stout effort from Faith Elliker Smith, with no news still from Sowerby Bridge, the innings closed on 60 for nine in 30 overs.

The two Charlottes, Skyes and Oates, then gave Lightcliffe hope with a rapid opening burst that reduced Sheffield to eight for two after three overs. A steady recovery was halted when Alice Hartley turned one off a length to disturb the stumps and at 19 for three after 10 overs the home side looked worried.

Despite some good deliveries from Kate Standeven the opposition total mounted with a few too many wides conceded until the returning Sykes picked up her second clean bowled victim to finish with two for eight in seven overs.

Sheffield passed the total needed with four down unbeknown to both sides as the scoreboard showed runs required as opposed to first innings score. Cruelly, Sue Godden then proceeded to take her maiden wicket with the plummest of LBWs before celebrations were interrupted by the scorer’s assist running on to the pitch to break the news that the match was concluded on the previous ball.

Coach Steve Hartley was pleased with the team’s performance, saying: “These were difficult conditions against opposition with young Yorkshire players and the team performed creditably.

“The batting concentration was good and with more accurate bowling the result would have been a lot closer. I was gutted for Sue (Godden) but the wicket will come I have no doubt.”