Welcome to the acid test.
We’ve played well so far this season but this was the first of the title contenders, the most likely side to win the league (if they get their matches played). Especially when we saw the team. This was a strong side, a very strong side, Cumbrian senior and junior county players from various clubs united as Penrith as the only Cumbrian side in the Northumberland league added to that an Australian over on a scholarship. They get one every year, she plays for their men’s team and she’ll be playing for the Cumbrian women’s side as well.
Defiantly a day to have our strongest side out, unfortunately this wasn’t possible.
We were the second match for them, they had already caned Hexham Leazes putting on 234-2 (Montgomery 81 retired not out). It is a small ground but that’s still some batting performance in 20 overs.
Let’s bat first… Hard dry pitch, in better nick than it was the other day. Slightly bigger boundaries.
Penrith win the toss and elect to bat.
Into the field then…
Meghan Montgomery is a player the county players in our side know well, we’ve played her a lot. She is Cumbrian captain. We know how to get her out, only at County we’ve got 11 players and can have 3rd slip, gully and backward point, we also have Roshi to bowl outswingers to encourage the cut. She’s a very good bat. If she gets in she’ll make big runs.
Lisa to open as Ellie was nursing an Achilles’ strain. Yves behind the stumps until she was needed to bowl.
Penrith started quietly enough, getting used to the pitch but the aggressive intent was always there and anything short, anything with a bit of width was punished heavily.
I bowled flatter, with more pace than I would usually do in a women’s game so I couldn’t get the turn I would have liked but I knew there wasn’t going to be the turn that there was on Wednesday because there was less grass on the wicket and it was far harder added to that with both bats more than happy to go over the infield, come out of their crease and only 6 fielders to play with the cost of wickets would’ve been extremely high if I was going to try and buy them with a bit of flight.
Lisa took herself off as Monty clattered her into the leg side to be replaced by Erica who had a bit of a chastening experience as she struggled for line and length. Penrith aren’t a team for mercy.
Jenny was a big miss behind the stumps, Yves and Lisa both did their best but it is a specialist position and it was a day when we really needed a keeper comfortable with standing up to force both batsmen back into their crease.
70-0 after about 9-10 overs.
Platform set to launch an all-out assault.
Yves and Ellie both felt the force of it as boundaries flowed.
Even though it wasn’t a pleasant experience for Ellie having batsmen charge at her, hit good balls for 4 I think (and hope) that it proves to be a useful one in the long run. She didn’t bowl badly but she couldn’t stop them scoring, it happens to everyone.
169-1 (Montgomery 82*)
Required run rate 8.5 against the strongest attack in the league.
I went out to bat in the wrong frame of mind. I hadn’t had a good morning at home, I’d been rushing around I wasn’t in the best mood when I got to the ground then on top of that we’d been out the field getting pulled around by inform batsmen. And I had got distracted by the frankly uncalled for heckling by the Penrith supports. Cheering mis-fields. Is there any need at club level? Cheer the shot maybe but don’t make a point of cheering a mis-field then laugh. Smug sneering and general arrogance. It’s not necessary and really unhelpful when trying to build confidence especially in young players.
Anyway I wasn’t with it and I went for a shot that I didn’t need to, the ball bounced a lot more than I anticipated, got a leading edge and was caught at extra cover trying to hit the ball into next week. Very irresponsible and inexcusable from an opener.
It was hard going especially when Eliza Bunner, their Aussie started bowling all out. She was quick and the more I saw the more I couldn’t believe I’d chucked my wicket because that was the kind of pace that, as long as you can cope with it, can bring runs.
We lost 3 wickets and this brought Erica to the crease. Now I’m all for competitive cricket, I’m all for bowlers bowling all out but there are lines. They aren’t written in law but they come under the spirit of the game. Bowling bouncers at a youngster really isn’t in the spirit. Hitting her on the grill then bouncing her again is excessive. Fair play to Monty she told her to stop it and ease off, then took her off when it was clear that she didn’t see the problem.
She could’ve bounced me and I wouldn’t have cared. Lisa the same. Yves fine. That comes from the level we have played for other teams but at this level there are very few players in this league that have ever been bounced. They’ll have probably been beamed but deliberate bouncers aren’t common. There isn’t really anyone in the league quick enough to genuinely bounce someone and it be effective other than her. She has the pace to do it and I don’t disagree with her using it as a tactic against experienced players but when Erica failed to play the first bouncer well and got hit something should have perhaps clicked that she couldn’t play it, she didn’t know how to play it, she didn’t have the experience to play it and if she kept bowling them she could hurt her. Also the game situation we were 4 down for not many, nowhere near threatening to give chase. Bowling wicket to wicket would have been as effective especially since it was her full deliveries that had brought her wickets.
This isn’t international cricket. This isn’t County. And although competitive there are development teams who are in the first year. That kind of bowling can ruin a person’s confidence and their willingness to play.
Anyway, Lisa batted calmly and made sure that we got a batting bonus point before departing for a really well battled 22. A run out for the last wicket and we were all out.
55 all out (11.5 overs, Bunner 3 for 9)
Penrith 15 points. Corbridge 1 bonus point.
There is a bit of bad feeling about Penrith playing in our league, not because they’re good but they’re a combination of clubs which means they have far greater pool of players to draw from. And they make all the teams that make the trip over there play on a ropey/nearing the end of it’s life artificial wicket. The fact it’s artificial is bad enough.
Although it was a thumping there is a lot to take out of the game. Mistakes that can be rectified. We are a better team than that display. We can play better than that. But when a match like that happens I chalk it up to experience and find things that they did well that I want to bring into my game.
For me watching Monty and Sarah Earl bat the way they did was a reminder of the things that I need to work on with my batting. Shots that I need to work on and things I need to tighten up. I’ve been more than a little lazy with nets recently and it does show in my batting.
When Monty threatened to ruin my final over, I switched to bowling around the wicket something I don’t do often to right handers and I couldn’t find my line, even though it was sort of effective. It’s something that I’ve been encouraged not to do in the women’s game but it’s a useful tactic, a way for me to change things up. I practice it in Matfen nets because so many of the team take 2 as a guard and I find around the wicket cuts out some of the shots they can play making it easier to think of the field setting I would want. It’s something that I need to spend more time on so that I can get my line straight away.
Anyway, next up for Corbridge 1st is Stocksfield 1st.