Having given Sunday's women's cricket at Harrogate a bit of extra publicity I felt I should go over and support the event. This was the final day for the ECB competition with games going on and up and down the country. Away from Harrogate the focus was on the games at Polo Farm, Canterbury where Kent faced matches with Surrey and Notts and East Grinstead where Sussex were entertaining Berkshire and Somerset.
I arrived at St George's Road towards the end of the first game of the day, that between Yorkshire and Ireland. David Thorpe quickly put me in the picture which was that Yorkshire were on the verge of defeat to Ireland. The home side had been dismissed for 86 and this was overhauled by Ireland with 7 wickets and an over to spare. The girls in green play all their matches away, something that costs Irish cricket £90000 a year in travel expenses. David and I were in agreement that this seemed rather unfair and that as supporters a trip to Dublin would have been a nice treat.
Ireland in the field
Results from East Grinstead and Canterbury meant that going into the last set of matches there were four teams tied on 20 points, Sussex, Kent Yorkshire and Middlesex, any one of whom could finish as champions. At Harrogate Yorkshire batted first and made 116 for 4. Middlesex started well and were 60 for 2 but the rate had gone up to 7 an over and they began the last over with five down and needing ten to win. The whole day came down to the last ball when four were needed but only two were forthcoming which left Middlesex out of the mix. Twitter confirmed that Sussex and Kent had both won their matches which left a three way tie on 24 points with run rate to decide. The excellent Women's Sport UK twitter lead tentatively put its money on Sussex while others favoured Yorkshire. The ECB finally defrosted its slide rule late afternoon yesterday and published the table showing Sussex as champions with Yorkshire second and Kent third. To show how close things were, had Middlesex managed to hit the last ball for four their run rate would have given them the title. Phew.