Edinburgh South-Stewart’s Melville, George Watson’s College and Royal High Corstorphine continue to set the pace in the Women’s Premier League after the fourth round of matches left the capital sides in a three-way tie at the top of the table. With three matches left in the season, each will be looking to take advantage of any slip-up before attention turns towards the Beyond Boundaries Scottish Cup at the end of the month.
The game of last weekend was at Inverleith, where ES-SM emerged victorious from a thrilling encounter with Carlton. In a match which saw momentum swing from one side to the other, boundary-laden half-centuries from Molly Paton (69) and Hannah Short (58) took ES-SM to an impressive 198 for 5 before Carlton hit back thanks to a magnificent century from Heather Tait. The opener completely dominated the scoring as she carried her bat for an unbeaten 101, but, despite 28 wides bolstering their total, a nail-biting finish saw Carlton defeated by just seven runs. With two wins and two losses the Grange Loan side now sits in fourth, still very much in touch with the leading trio.
At Myreside, Nina Whitaker (2 for 6) and Sally Jack (2 for 7) helped George Watson’s College ease past Watsonians in the Watson’s derby. An under-gunned Watsonians team struggled to recover from the loss of early wickets before eventually being bowled out for 36, a total overhauled in 7.3 overs to give GWC an eight-wicket win.
Royal High Corstorphine overcame Dumfries and Galloway by nine wickets at Barnton, where Ikra Farooq (3 for 11) and Phoebe Beal (3 for 15) were the pick of the bowlers as the visitors were dismissed for 50. Despite the loss of the in-form Kitty Levenson (22) as their chase neared its conclusion, Riti Patel (15*) and Ikra Farooq (5*) combined to see RHC safely over the line in 8.1 overs.
The weekend’s fixtures see ES-SM take on RHC at Inch Park on Friday before both teams play again on Sunday, RHC against Carlton and ES-SM against Stirling County. After two away defeats and the frustration of two home cancellations, Dumfries will be looking for a change of fortune against GWC, while the remaining fixture sees unbeaten McCrea West of Scotland travel to Watsonians to play what will be the third match of their campaign.
And as the division builds to a climax, it is the hand held by fifth placed McCrea WoS which is most intriguing of all. As well as a trip to Dumfries, the team from the West is still to play both RHC and GWC; after what has already been a fascinating season, there are likely to be plenty more twists and turns to come.