Martin Saxon reports
Chester Boughton Hall are the champions of the Cheshire Women’s Cricket League for the first time since 2016. They wasted no time in making a statement by beating 2019 champions Didsbury on the opening day, and despite a minor setback in their second match, Boughton Hall maintained their momentum, wrapping up the Championship with a match to spare.
Ali Cutler was undoubtedly a key part of their success, leading them to some of their early wins with telling contributions with both bat and ball. However, as the season progressed, some of their younger players featured more prominently, and it was 15-year-old Gemma Rose who finished as the first division’s leading wicket taker.
The best known name in the Chester squad is the Sunrisers’ opening bowler Kate Coppack, who despite now playing for a South of England elite regional team, still made the journey north to play for the club where she began her career as often as she was able to.
Didsbury won the league last time a full season was played, in 2019, but had to make do with the runners-up spot this time, as well as the Senior Knockout Cup trophy. This was despite going unbeaten in all competitions for three months at one stage, a run bookended by two league defeats against Chester.
Oakmere finished third in the first division and also won the T20 Divisional Competition for the first time.
Despite having both the leading run scorer and the equal highest wicket taker in division one, Stockport Trinity finished no higher than fourth. Ellie Mason made 752 runs over the course of the league season, at an average of 107, smashing the previous individual record. Emma Royle took 20 wickets as the club’s opening bowler.
Second division champions in 2021 were Nantwich, who are now promoted to the top flight for the first time. Quite simply, none of their divisional rivals were able to cope with their talented and varied bowling attack. Nantwich capped an excellent season by reaching the Regional Final of the National Knockout, indeed the performances of all the Cheshire League clubs that entered the National clearly demonstrate how favourably the league’s playing standards compare to other leagues in the region.
Hawarden Park and Woodley were the champions of the two regional division three competitions, Stockport Georgians 2nd XI won division four and Alvanley and Langley 2nd XI won the two division five softball competitions.
TEAM HONOURS 2021
|Division 1 & League Championship||Chester Boughton Hall||Didsbury|
|Division 2||Nantwich||Stockport Georgians|
|Division 3 West||Hawarden Park||Chester Boughton Hall 2nd XI|
|Division 3 East||Woodley||Lindow|
|Division 4||Stockport Georgians 2nd XI||Heaton Mersey & Cheadle|
|Division 5 West||Alvanley||Leigh 2nd XI|
|Division 5 East||Langley 2nd XI||North East Cheshire|
|T20 Divisional Competition||Oakmere Kats||Didsbury Swordettes|
|Senior Knockout Cup||Didsbury Swordettes||Appleton Tigers|
|Development Knockout Cup||Nantwich 2nd XI||Hayfield|
|Batting Award – Most Runs||Bowling Award – Most Wickets||Fielding Award – Most Fielding Catches & Run Outs||Wicketkeeping Award – Most Wicketkeeping Catches & Stumpings|
|Division 1||Ellie Mason (Stockport Trinity)||Gemma Rose (Chester BH)*||Sophie Connor (Oakmere)||Katie Bennett (Chester BH)|
|Division 2||Amy Griffiths (Porthill Park 2nd XI)||Sophie Morris (Upton)||Molly Price (Oxton)||Charlotte Neal (Nantwich)|
|Division 3 West||Nicola Deane (Hawarden Park)||Florence Seymour (Nantwich 2nd XI)*||Laura Nicholls (Hawarden Park)||No award – no ‘keeper attained three or more dismissals|
|Division 3 East||Michelle Hesslegrave (Lindow)||Alicia Peacock (Hayfield)*||Alex Wilson (Woodley)||Abby Barlow (Woodley)|
|Division 4||Amy Shaw (Heaton Mersey & Cheadle)||Eliza Chadwick (Heaton Mersey & Cheadle)||Elspeth Headridge (Hawk Green)||Charlotte Appleyard (Heaton Mersey & Cheadle)|
|T20 Competitions||Roshini Prince-Navaratnam (Didsbury Swordettes)||Kerry Hartnett (Oakmere Kats)||Sophie Connor (Oakmere Kats)||Ruth Lomas (Hayfield)|
* Bowling average used as a tie breaker where two or more bowlers tied for total wickets
The above listed players all win an award in recognition of their performances this year.
League President Di Totty has chosen Sarah McCann as the winner of this year’s President’s Award, given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to women’s cricket in Cheshire. Di says that Sarah – now stepping down from the Chair role, having done it for the last 11 years, and for another period back in the 2000s – was “the only choice” for the award this year.