Could the Creditwest TRNC Ladies Cricket team do a ‘Leicester City’?
Last year they lost every game, but with wins in their final two matches, the impossible could have happened and the All Cyprus Cup theirs.
Last Sunday’s final round of games at the Kornos ground, near Larnaca, began with the South’s Sri Lankan Association top on 9 points, the TRNC had 6 and the home side 3 points. With 3 awarded for a win, the TRNC had to take both games for the title.
TRNC Captain Hale Silifkeli’s bad luck continued as she again lost the toss and the Greek side decided to bat. The outstanding Gina Mapp opened the bowling in the 6 over-a-side pairs game, conceding a miserly -1 run from her over. Followed by an even more destructive over from Maria Mansfield whose speed bowled Masooma and had Kirsten caught behind by Lynn Holman, with each wicket being scored as -5, her over ended on -9. Linda Hurley picked up a wicket when she tempted Paju to charge her and Holman comfortably took the stumping. A controlled over from Kelsey Ace gave 3 and Silifkeli 11 runs, left the TRNC chasing only 12, which when added to the starting score of 100 gave 113 needed for victory.
Lynn Holman catching Moufflon’s player Kirsten
Coach Nigel Holman told us he stressed the importance of careful defensive batting when chasing a low total. The first pair of Mansfield and Ace did exactly that, putting on a faultless 15. Next, Silifkeli and Hurley came to the crease, adding 1 to the total. With the score on 113, the final pair of Holman and Mapp only had to defend for their 2 overs for victory. An outstanding ball from Captain Garoma took Mapp’s off stump reducing the total to 108 and the TRNC needing to do more than defend. Next ball Holman attacking gave a return catch and the score dropped to an alarming 101. Refocusing, the North’s women fought back and needed 7 from their last over. Facing the inexperienced Ana, they nudged their way to 114 and vital 3 league points.
Kelsey Ace explained the Sub-Continent ladies were the season’s strongest side and everyone assumed they would beat the Greeks to claim the trophy. However, the unexpected happens and the home team’s massive 140 proved too much, setting up an exciting ‘winner takes all’ finale between the Sri Lankans and TRNC.
Fielding first, the TRNC bowled tightly, but couldn’t take wickets, with a run out and a brilliant catch by Mansfield off Ace being the only success as 142 was reached.
In reply, the TRNC only lost 2 wickets, but never created momentum. Mansfield and Ace steadily got the total to 113. Next, Silifkeli and Hurley took it to 125 and the North’s dream looked very much alive. Then a gentle catch, accompanied by Nigel Page’s doleful horn playing summed up the North’s travelling fans disappointment, as the final pair of Holman and Mapp were left needing a daunting 23 from the last 12 balls. Mali’s fast accurate yorkers gave little opportunity for attack. Mapp was bowled in a desperate last effort and the North limped to 123 and defeat by 19 runs.
Ladies Cricket training is continuing every Saturday morning and new members are very welcome. Lynn Holman says ladies’ cricket is great for fitness and it doesn’t matter if someone has never played before, as none of the team had when they first started. Tel: 0533 824 8999.
TRNC Creditwest ladies cricket team
Back row L to R: Linda Hurley, Kelsey Ace, Maria Mansfield, Jenny Page,
Front row L to R: Lynn Holman, Hale Silifkeli, Gina Mapp