Match Report: Kent Women vs. Essex Women

Match Report: Kent Women vs. Essex Women

Wet weather could not dampen a celebration of Kent Women as over 300 spectators came to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence for the Horses’ first ever floodlit match at Canterbury.

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Festivities began before play as squad members for this fixture and Horses in attendance that had been awarded county caps were formally presented with numbered playing caps in recognition of their service to Kent Women, including: Susie Rowe, Alice Davidson-Richards, Grace Gibbs and Hannah Jelfs.

Kent Women cap number 54 was then presented to all-rounder Phoebe Franklin, after a brilliant 2021 season for the right-hander.

As the first spots of rain began to fall at The Spitfire Ground, Kent Women won the Toss and elected to field first – a decision that was vindicated in the first over when Alexa Stonehouse bowled Emma Jones on her leg stump without scoring.

The weather became gradually more inclement as the powerplay of Essex’s innings continued, with the ball being changed at one point because it had soaked-up so much water. Credit to the umpires – every effort was made to get as much play in as possible for what could be a record crowd for a Kent Women T20 fixture.

Chances came but weren’t taken in the field to dismiss more Essex batters as fielding became much more difficult owing to the conditions, but the breakthrough was made in the ninth-over – a full toss from Ryana MacDonald-Gay was heaved at by Grace Poole, only to enact the thinnest of edges into the gloves of Mia Rogers behind the stumps.

Essex, at 52/2 after eight overs, looking to rebuild their innings, and that effort was led no doubt by opener Catherine Dalton – who reached her half century from 48 deliveries.

Erica Hobson was dismissed by Kalea Moore for 4, the catch from 17-year-old skipper Grace Scrivens making her captaincy debut, to leave Essex on 60/3, but eventually the rain became too much for play to continue.

Despite coming off for rain and trying to get more play in, once the covers came on for the second time, the decision was made at 20:30 to abandon the Battle of the Bridge T20 showcase, with Essex 86/3 in their 18th over with the bat.

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The weather could not stop the Horses from formally lifting their Vitality Women’s County T20 South East trophy in front of the hardy supporters that remained in The Spitfire Ground after the match was abandoned to their unofficial anthem, Scissor Sisters’ ‘Only The Horses’.

This is the fourth T20 title in Kent Women’s history.

Kent Women’s main sponsors, Canterbury Christ Church University, were in attendance to support the Horses, and were presented with a shirt signed by the team by Kent Cricket’s Head of Community Cricket, James Reid.

CCCU’s Director of Sport & Active Health, Paul Carney, said: “The University is delighted to continue its successful partnership with the Kent Women’s team.

“It was fantastic to watch the team run out under the lights and start their match against Essex – such a shame that the weather ultimately brought the evening to an early close… but at least we were able to share in the team’s achievement as they were presented with the T20 trophy!

“We look forward to working together and sharing more success on and off the field.”

Kent Women are proudly sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University >>>