The Doğanköy Darlings Ladies Cricket team started the defence of their Creditwest Ladies league title last Tuesday afternoon 1st May at the Pia Bella Stadium. As captain Sarah Sandford said, 2018 would be tough, but her new players were doing well and the return of Maria Mansfield gave her hope.

In what promised to be a classic, the two best teams in the whole of Cyprus came head-to-head in the opening fixture with the Darlings taking on the much fancied Lapta Lasses, last season’s runners-up. Lapta’s captain Gina Mapp responded by telling us, her team had been working exceptionally hard in training and they had an excellent chance of dominating the league.

Mapp won the toss and chose to field, with Sarah Sandford and Maria Mansfield opening, both very big hitters who scored rapidly at 10/over in their allotted 6 overs. Next in were the experienced Lynn Holman and Shiroma Pattiyage. Holman’s, attempt to keep the scoring rate up whilst protecting the new player from the strike, resulted in some suicide running and being out 5 times between them, costing minus 25 runs. This meant they only added 5 overall and the team’s final score was 65. Which coach Nigel Holman predicted was 20 runs short of a defendable total.

The talented Mapp and Steph Routledge opened the Lasses reply and quickly put on 46, their only flaw being when Holman bowled Mapp. Next in were the pairing of Annie McLoughlin and Julie Birch who needed 20 for victory. Facing defeat, the Darlings dug deep and their bowling found new accuracy. Wickets followed, Sandford catching Birch off Mansfield, and then Sandford caught and bowled her, at the other end McLoughlin was bowled by Mansfield. With one over remaining 9 runs were still needed and it was anyone’s game. Mansfield bowled quickly, as if her life depended upon it: dot, 2 wides, two no balls, dot, one run, leaving 4 required from the last ball, then another dot and it was Doğanköy Darlings day.

Next Tuesday 15th May there is practice at Pia Bella Stadium, 4.30pm to 6.00pm. Please come along and learn to play, it’s great fitness, no experience or equipment are needed.

For more information contact Gina on 0533 8332069.