Week Four of the Cricket Scotland Women’s Premier League sees the last of its seven teams make their entrance. And having watched the first three rounds unfold from the sidelines, West of Scotland is delighted to finally be able to do so.
“We are incredibly excited,” said co-captain Charlotte Dalton-Howells. “It’s been hard knowing that others have been able to get their games in, but it’s stirred up that ‘cricket fever’ amongst the group even more. We’ve seen the results and we know that people have been putting in good performances, so there’s plenty of motivation around.
“It’s been really difficult to get training and intra-club fixtures organised because of the Level 3 restrictions, which prevented a lot of our players from travelling into Glasgow,” she continued. “But the training sessions we have had have been good – a combination of skills work to dust off the cobwebs and some middle practice as well.”
And despite all the obstacles, Charlotte is hopeful that her team can find its feet again after an impressive debut season in 2019 which brought four league wins in all.
“We have a really nice blend of experience and young talent,” she said. “We have Abtaha Maqsood and Ellen Watson as our Scotland contingent, and then there are younger up-and-coming players who are involved in the Western Warriors and Scotland Under-17s like Faatima Gardee, Sophie Trickett, Neyma Shaikh and Maryam Faisal. We’ve also got a couple of other really talented players who will be making their debuts, like Anne Sturgess.
“But above all we’re just really excited to be getting out on the pitch again. It doesn’t really matter who our first opponent is – we’re just looking forward to seeing other people from outwith our club, putting a good game in and enjoying the experience.”
WoS play a Royal High Corstorphine side keen to get back to winning ways after its chastening defeat last weekend at Nunholm. Emily Oliver’s 4 for 15 and an unbeaten 49 from Ikra Farooq was not enough to prevent a six-wicket loss to Dumfries & Galloway, but with Megan Taylor and Caitlin Ormiston returning to bolster the Edinburgh team’s all-round capability, the West may well be facing a somewhat different beast on Sunday afternoon.
Equally fascinating will be the encounter at Gatehouse of Fleet, where Dumfries & Galloway will be looking for a repeat of the fine display they put in last weekend. A first-wicket partnership of 95 between Lorna Jack (53) and Niamh Muir (33) did most of the heavy lifting with the bat, Muir having already taken 2 for 16 with the ball, but the performance of the day came from Fiona Ramsay, whose 4 for 10 in 3.2 overs helped restrict the visitors to 132, a target that was quickly overhauled with more than eleven overs to spare.
Leaders Carlton travel to Galloway fresh from a 107-run win over George Watson’s College, Abbi Aitken-Drummond scoring a half-century and Charis Scott taking 3 for 17 as the Grange Loan side put the previous week’s loss to Stewart’s Melville well and truly behind them. GWC move on to Inverleith to play a Stew-Mel team determined to get its own ambitions back on track after defeat to Watsonians/Grange last Sunday.
So many contenders, so many possibilities. And with West of Scotland now adding an extra factor to the competition as it reaches its halfway point, there is still everything to play for.
Women’s Premier League – 13 June 2021
Dumfries & Galloway v Carlton (at Gatehouse)
McCrea West of Scotland v Royal High Corstorphine (at New Williamfield)
Stewart’s Melville v George Watson’s College (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.