Bedford Cricket Club’s Women’s side have qualified for the Home Counties Finals Day on their first ever season in competitive cricket after a sensational final day victory saw them grab the final spot as the best second placed side.
Two wins on Sunday – the second by just five runs – saw them level on points with Ampthill Cricket Club, but Bedford finished second due to a lower net run rate.
Lucy Sellers and her side won’t care one jot however as they qualified for Finals Day regardless and will go on to face Tiddington from Oxfordshire in the play-off round in Hitchin, before the winner of that tie goes on to face Oxford Cricket Club.
Bedford see off Banbury before dramatic Stony win
The pairs format used in this brand new league setup can leave games winnable until the very end, with both sides starting on 200 runs but losing 5 runs for each wicket that falls.
Bedford went into the day knowing they’d more than likely need to win both of their games to stand any chance of reaching Finals Day and they began that pursuit in clinical fashion, seeing off Banbury for the second time this season.
Lucy Sellers (3-8) and Vicki Barrett (2-18) made sure regular wickets fell for the Oxfordshire side who could only post 237-5 in their sixteen overs, and it was a target easily surpassed.
The second game was a far tighter affair as Bedford could only add 75 runs to their starting total, thanks in large captain Sellers’ 20.
However, the game was won with ball in hand as Harriet Couch picked up a brace alongside player of the day, Sellers to restrict Stony Stratford to just 70 and steal the win by 5 runs.
A nervous wait then ensued as the team waited overnight to find out the scores from the other Southern regions, but there was confirmation on Monday that the team had made Finals Day as the best placed runners-up.
Women’s and Girls co-ordinator at Bedford Cricket Club, Vicki Barrett has been an instrumental part of the side and was understandably pleased with the swift progress made.
“We are delighted with our league debut performance and the progress of women’s cricket at Bedford.
“Built on strong team spirit, quality coaching and consistent and genuine support from the club, we have made huge strides and I’m so proud of our group of players for reaching Finals Day.
“The impact of our Brewpoint sponsorship, our relationship with No Limitz as supplier and guidance from Cricket East have all also played a huge part.”
The new team don’t have long to wait until Finals Day either, as Hitchin Cricket Club play host on Sunday 11th June.
Tom Carr is a player and volunteer at Bedford Cricket Club