It’s ladies first as Horsham clinch Sussex crown

Horsham Ladies, Sussex 40 over champions 2012
Horsham Ladies, Sussex 40 over champions 2012

Horsham Cricket Club’s ladies’ first XI are aiming high after last week’s Sussex Cup final success against Hastings.

Chasing 168 for victory, skipper and England under-19 star Izi Noakes shared a 150-run stand with Georgia Adams after losing two early wickets, as Horsham added the Sussex 40 Over crown to the ECB Super 8s title won a week previously.

After that win, Horsham were confident, despite being a division below Championship League Hastings, in the Southern League.

Team manager Jo Humphreys explained: “We came into this match feeling fairly confident that if we all performed to anything near our best we would win the match.

“I have felt all season that the squad we have this season is more than capable of competing and beating teams in the Championship league.”

Hastings’ decision to bat first upon winning the toss was welcomed by Humphreys as Horsham ‘can bat and bowl pretty much through the 11, we didn’t mind either way’.

Abbie Freeborn led the way for Hastings with an unbeaten 58 in their 167-7.

Paige Newman scored 32 before she was trapped LBW by Adams, who ran-out Natasha Newman for 31.

The wickets were shared among the Horsham bowlers, as Gina Monk, Georgia Adams, Hannah Phelps, Shelley Meyern and Izzy Collis took one each, while the other two were down to Horsham’s fine fielding, which led to the run-outs.

Adams and Hannah Phelps (another of Horsham’s England under-19 players), made a sticky start and Horsham found themselves 11-2 off five overs.

Skipper Noakes then joined Georgia Adams at the crease and between the two of them they batted superbly putting on a brilliant third wicket stand of 150.

Adams finished on 64 off 74 balls and Noakes scored 83 off 77 balls.

Attempts to finish the match in style led to the dimissals of both, as Adams went for a match-winning six and was caught in the deep, while Noakes followed next ball.

So, that meant it was up to Sophie Hoskins and Jess Saunders went into bat needing five to win.

The pair ran a quick two, followed by a single off the last ball of the 29th over which put Hoskins on strike.

And she completed the job by hitting the ball back over the bowlers head for four, to cap a fine season which also saw the under-13 and under-15 teams teams making it to the National Semi Finals of the Lady Taverners Competition

Horsham can now finish the season on a high if they clinch promotion to the Championship - they currently sit in the second promotion place.

Humphreys said: “If the squad carries on playing the cricket we have this season Horsham Ladies could find themselves playing Premier League Cricket in two seasons time.”