After two rounds affected by the Level 3 restrictions in Glasgow, Week Three of the Cricket Scotland Women’s Premier League will see six teams in action for the first time this year. Dumfries and Galloway play their first match after an opening-day postponement and a rest day last Sunday – that the next team on that rota happens to be Glasgow-based West of Scotland, this week of all weeks, is ironic in the extreme.
But after a long-drawn-out diet of training and intra-club cricket, Galloway CC’s Natalie Hamblin is looking forward to her side breaking their drought, at least, on Sunday.
“Everyone is really excited to get to play an actual match where there’s a purpose!” she laughed. “We’ve had training sessions and practice games and so on, but we’ve not had a competitive match for so long now. We’re just looking forward to playing together in the one team instead of against each other, as it’s been for a while.
“We’ll enjoy Sunday’s game and look to learn from it first and foremost, but we’ll also be looking to see where we are as a team after that long wait for competitive cricket.”
Although Natalie is quick to downplay her side’s long-term ambitions, Dumfries and Galloway have a good deal of talent on which to draw, led by one of Scotland’s brightest prospects.
“Orla Montgomery is looking very strong,” she said. “She’s a young player with a great future ahead of her. She’s taken a lead as our captain this year as well, and her leadership skills have been shining through already.”
The team from the south-west face a Royal High Corstorphine eleven that moved to the top of the table after their victory over Watsonians/Grange last weekend. It was RHC captain Megan Taylor who grabbed the headlines with 6 for 10 as Watsonians/Grange slumped from 55 without loss to 98 all out, Taylor rounding off the innings with a hat-trick. RHC debutant Caitlin Ormiston took 2 for 18, including the wickets of Scotland pair Becky Glen and Priyanaz Chatterji in successive balls, while Matilda Coke (1 for 14) and Beth Mitchell (1 for 4) both bowled tidily to help keep their opponents in double figures. The experienced pair of Kitty Levenson and Riti Patel then put on 90 for the first wicket, Levenson completing both the chase and her own half-century with a full ten overs to spare. With a tricky trip to Hamilton Crescent to come in Week Four, the leaders will be keen to consolidate their position at Nunholm.
As RHC reinforced their league credentials, reigning champions Stewart’s Melville were opening their account at Grange Loan against a Carlton team that has made no secret of its own title ambitions. A fine partnership of 91 between Catherine Holland and Emma Walsingham formed the backbone of their total of 176 for 8, Walsingham ending with a well-crafted half-century made all the more impressive by Carlton’s accurate bowling and the slow-and-low Grange Loan pitch. Their performance was then backed up in the field, Katherine Fraser taking 2 for 21 and Iona Lowry 2 for 27 as the home team pushed hard, but ultimately in vain.
While Stew-Mel move on to play a Watsonians/Grange side keen to build on the improvement they have shown, Carlton will be looking to bounce back against Edinburgh rivals George Watson’s College. The Scottish Cup holders, who welcome back Annette Aitken-Drummond, had so nearly turned their afternoon around thanks to a wonderful innings from Samantha Haggo, whose unbeaten 53 completely changed the momentum of a chase that at one stage appeared to be grinding to a halt. The late loss of Charis Scott saw Stew-Mel recover the advantage on this occasion, but with Carlton’s Scotland contingent fit and firing in the future – including Hannah Rainey, who had an excellent day on Sunday both with the ball and in the field – it is the Arrows who may still turn out to be the ones to beat come the end of the season.
Women’s Premier League – 6 June 2021
Dumfries and Galloway v Royal High Corstorphine (at Nunholm)
Carlton v George Watson’s College (at Grange Loan)
Stewart’s Melville v Watsonians/Grange (at Inverleith)
The Cricket Scotland Podcast will include a round-up of the men’s and women’s league action from across the country every Tuesday, with player interviews from our featured games. Follow @ScotlandPod on Twitter for all the latest information.