Blackpool Cricket Club Ladies show fighting spirit to the end in outstanding season
Blackpool Cricket Club Ladies missed out on a place in the final of the T20 Lancashire Cup but can reflect on a season of outstanding progress.
Having won through to finals day at Northern CC in Crosby, they faced the Leyland first team in the opening semi-final.
Captain Caroline Blundell chose to bat on a red-hot day and shared a stand of 32 before opening partner Phoebe Wragg was dismissed.
Hannah Knowles kept the momentum going with 14 from five balls before being trapped lbw, then Lyndsey Simpson smashed a four before being brilliantly run out.
Blundell was still going strong, scoring 39 from 21 balls, until she suffered a cruel Achilles injury. Having attempted to continue with a runner, the skipper was out lbw and was helped from the field.
Gemma Kennedy, Katie Galligan and Emilie Butcher steered Blackpool to a respectable 121-5, their highest T20 score against Leyland for five years.
Blundell received treatment but was unable to take the field for the Leyland reply, 14-year-old Fleetwood CC junior Milla Brotherwood stepping up as substitute fielder.
Tight bowling restricted Leyland to 14 from the powerplay overs but their openers began to score more freely until Bobbi Lee Campbell clean bowled one of them with her second delivery.
However, Leyland showed why they are unbeaten for five years in this competition and sealed a nine-wicket victory at 122-1 in the 18th over, going on to beat Ramsbottom by 110 runs in the final.
Blackpool also finished third in the Lancashire Development League and head coach Roger Garlick said: “Once again I am so proud of these girls for firstly getting to finals day, then how they performed on the day was outstanding.
“It could have been very different if it wasn’t for the injury to Caroline, who is our leader both on and off the pitch.
“We have improved so much this season and have surpassed all our previous records, with our highest team total (233-5 declared v Burnley) and our highest individual score by Hannah Knowles (111 not out) in the same game. It’s been a special season for everyone involved.”
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