The Edinburgh University Cricket Club Women’s first VI kicked off the club’s 2014-15 indoor season with a Cricket Scotland tournament at Loretto School in Musselburgh. Shorn of many senior players due to injury, essay deadlines and European city breaks, a relatively inexperienced side captained by Fleur Cousens were placed in a pool with club sides Watsonians and St Boswells.
This rawness showed in their first fixture, where a disappointing performance with the bat saw EUCC set just 48 from their five overs, Zoe Conway top scoring with 23. Watsonians chased down the target with five wickets and seven balls to spare. There were encouraging performances with the ball from Conway, who bowled economically and quickly, and behind the stumps from new wicket keeper Hannah Emery. The ladies took confidence from this first game, however, and put up a much stronger showing in their second fixture with St Boswells, a club that is a stalwart of Scottish women’s cricket. Bowling first, Edinburgh’s enthusiasm and discipline managed to restrict a powerful batting line up to just 34 from their 5 overs. Conway impressed once again, opening the innings up with a maiden over, a rarity in indoor cricket. Katie Sadler removed the dangerman with a smart catch off her own bowling and Captain Cousens ensured that St Boswells could not scramble too many off the final over. The chase began in inauspicious style, with Conway adjudged LBW first ball, but from there, Cousens and Sadler steadily increased the score with controlled stroke-play and intelligent running. When Cousens fell with 15 still needed, it was left to Sadler and Matilda Coke on EUCC debut to see the team home. Coke’s coolness under pressure was great to see for someone new to this form of cricket and is testament to the good work done by the club coaches in preparing for these tournaments.
Having finished second in the group, EUCC now face Carlton Cricket Club in the 3rd / 4th playoff. This was a particularly enticing prospect as three EUCC alumni are part of the Carlton VI. Bowling first, EUCC managed to restrict Carlton to just 42, Molly Scott with her first two EUCC wickets, and one for Coke, now impressing with the ball. It was a tremendous team fielding effort, Emery again impressing behind the stumps, which will have been immensely satisfying to her onlooking coach. The chase started slowly in the face of hostile Carlton bowling, but Sadler and Cousens steadied the ship after two early wickets, running proactively and placing the ball in creative areas. The equation came down to 15 to win from the final over, to be bowled by ex-EUCC ladies’ captain Cat Sammon. With just eight taken from the first five deliveries, it seemed Sammon had done enough to secure a victory. Cousens, however, sent the ball high and hard over long-off for a maximum,to tie the game.
The celebrations from the gallery were only heightened when it was announced that this shot actually won Edinburgh the game due to having hit more boundaries, the statistic used to separate tied sides. This secured a wholly creditable third place finish in a tough tournament, a very promising start to the indoor season.