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Once again the Lancaster women retain the cricket trophy, having beaten York at every Roses match since 1984. Closer than expected, but well battled by the Lancaster team, York were beaten by just six runs on Sunday at what turned out to be a very tense and well-played game on both sides.
After beating York women in their BUCS league game only five days before, the Lancaster team were confident for another win at Roses on Sunday. The side, unbeaten outdoors for two seasons, have convincingly won all previous Roses games and the team were keen to keep up their record.
York won the toss and put Lancaster into bat first. The opening pair were Emma Marsh, at her first Roses, eager to set the standard for years to come; and Harriet Stone, hoping to beat her previous Roses score of 67. The pair started out strong, with the York bowlers becoming unsettled by some loud chanting from the Lancaster supporters. After just 10 overs and many boundaries from both batters, the pair had brought Lancaster up to a score of 62, seeming comfortable with the bowling attack and established to set a good score for Lancaster. Both were playing well, putting away the bad balls for four and keeping the total moving steadily. However in the 11th over, an ambitious sweep to leg from Stone saw the 64 partnership end and Stone out LBW by York spinner A. Cook; scoring 17 off 21 balls. Next up to the crease was vice captain Emma Fletcher, seeming to start confidently with the already well established Marsh. Unfortunately a tempting ball from Cook and a well-taken catch at square leg from M. Sail meant that Marsh was out for a respectable 36. Next to face the York bowling and poor on-pitch banter was Alice Gibbs, though she was soon sent back to the pavilion clean bowled by first change bowler R. Roy. After a very positive start the run rate was dropping, yet still decent as Captain Katy Davies came to the crease, hoping to anchor the Lancaster team. A well-placed ball from York’s E. Harper saw Fletcher out for nine, with the team at 97-4 with just six overs to go. Club president Lauren Saxby joined Davies at the crease, ready to see Lancaster over the finish line. The pair batted well, finishing with a partnership of 24 runs thanks to some brilliant running between the wickets, with Saxby finishing six not out and Davies ending on a score of 17 not out. This brought Lancaster’s final score up to a defendable 122 for four.
Between innings Lancaster felt they had performed well thus far, with their spirits only knocked by the resonance of the York comments made during the innings, which were felt to be “certainly not cricket”.
Opening bowlers Davies and Gibbs started well, but Davies soon took herself off after just two overs due to an injury to the leg whilst batting. The change turned out to be a good move for Lancaster, seeming to throw the batters, as first change bowler Emma Fletcher took out both openers aided by a catch at point by Lauren Saxby. Fletcher went on to bowl the York number three for just eight runs and York captain K. Lovegrove for a golden duck leaving her on a hat-trick ball. With all Lancaster fielders in close ready for the third, Fletcher came in to bowl, but a well-practiced defensive shot from A. Cole left her one wicket short. However Cole didn’t last long with spinner Harriet Stone clean bowling her for seven. Opening bowler Alice Gibbs returned to the attack with a fierce second spell, toppling wicket keeper L. Furbes for seven. This left York’s bowling star A. Cook at the crease, watching her teammates crumble around her at a score of 77 for 6 off 24 overs, well behind the needed run rate. R. Roy came to join Cook and together they put on a quick partnership of 29 playing well and putting the Lancaster field under pressure for a time, before spinner Stone replied with a looping ball out of the sun which felled Cook in her stride, bowling her for 41. This took the pressure off Lancaster and back on the York batters who had been relying on Cook after their top order scored nothing over single figures. Two balls later Stone took another wicket as J. Sarey went for a duck, scooping the ball straight back to the bowler for a catch. This brought in the York number 10 batter to face Stone’s final ball in the penultimate over. Going into the final over, to be bowled by captain Katy Davies, York were on 109 for 8, needing just over two runs a ball. The field were pushed out to avoid any pressure-building boundaries and the fielders were calm. The final pair played well, with a nicely placed four into an on-side gap, but it wasn’t enough. York finished their innings with 116 for eight, six runs short of the needed total, meaning that Lancaster Women’s cricket had won Roses once again.