Orsett and Thurrock retained their South Essex womens' indoor cricket title following a comprehensive six-wicket win over runners-up Belhus at Gable Hall school on Tuesday (28th March 2017). In the annual event which was sponsored by Thurrock Sports Council for the sixth consecutive year, the School Lane team had openers Emily Hart and Allison Edmeades to thank for their undefeated contributions of 26 and 27 respectively. With these two reaching the compulsory retirement limit, it was left to Emma Green, 7 not out, and Charlotte Davis, 3 not out, to finish the job as the Orsett team, self-named as the Ferrets, stormed to 75 without loss with six overs to spare.
Earlier, Belhus had made a strong start, as Rachel Cordell joined Tilly Barnett for a second wicket partnership which yielded 45 runs. Barnett struck a patient 15 but the partnership was broken ' along with Belhus hopes ' when Rachel Cordell was run out for 24 as a result of fine work from Edmeades at mid-on. The accurate throw was cleanly gathered by Sarah Fergey at the bowlerâ€™s end. It turned out to be a pivotal moment in the match as the North Stifford-based team were restricted to 75 for the loss of three wickets after their allotted fifteen overs. Green claimed two wickets for just four runs from three overs, the last of which was a double wicket maiden. Fergey and Edmeades picked up one wicket apiece.
In earlier matches, Belhus Ladies defeated Orsett and Thurrock Amazons by just five runs in a thrilling encounter. Cordell top scored with 25 while Emily Price finished with 10 not out, as Belhus finished on 86, also for the loss of three wickets. Ella Allen, Courtney Chaplin and Amelia Avery picked up one wicket each. After the break, Simmons and Avery staged a vigorous run chase as Simmons hit 16 runs and Avery weighing in with 26 before being compulsorily retired. With Amazons requiring 16 runs from the final over, Charlotte Waters kept her nerve to concede just six runs to finish with 1-13 from three overs as Belhus edged home. Sally Winter picked up 1-11, also from three overs. Cordell completed a fine all-round performance by bowling two consecutive maidens and conceded just one run from her three over allotment.
The in-house match between Orsett and Thurrockâ€™s two teams led to a slender one-wicket win by the Ferrets over the Amazons. Avery top scored for the Amazons with 13, closely followed by Chaplin with eleven runs to her name, as their team set a target of 64 for the loss of four wickets. Fergey and Hart claimed 2-13 and 1-16 respectively. The Ferrets bit back sharply with 20 runs from Edmeades, though no other batsman reached double figures as Allen, Bella McCarthy, Green, Chaplin and Avery claimed one wicket each. Eventually it was Edmeades who held her nerve to score the winning runs, with the Ferrets reaching 63 for the loss of five wickets.