The fans were heard to say, it was a Toe Tingling Tussle as the last ball of the Creditwest Ladies Cricket League decided all the final places at the Pia Bella Stadium last Monday 25th July 2018.
Before the match, last season’s champions Doğanköy Darlings were expected to breeze pass the Girne Girlies who had struggled throughout the tournament, to once again claim the trophy. But the joy of sport is its unpredictability.
Typical of Girne’s luck, they lost the toss and were asked to bat. Openers, captain Lynn Holman and Gina Mapp got off to a steady start scoring 43, but looking to score quickly, Mapp was caught behind off Sarah Sandford and Holman out with the unusual dismissal of ‘hit wicket’. Next in were the careful Shiroma Pattiyage and newcomer Claire Hawkins who added a respectable 42 between them, bringing the Girne Girlies total to 85.
Scorer Garry Jordan and fan Stuart Packington agreed at the interval, it was unlikely to be enough, as Doğanköy had some big hitters and they jokingly offered odds of 10 to 1 on them retaining their title.
The Darling’s captain Sandford opened with Annie McLoughlin, both who could take the game away from Girne. However, tight bowling from the Girlies’ Pattiyage and Mapp held them in check. Leaving the last batting pair of Jayne Packington and Mary Gibbs 48 to win. Suddenly what had seemed a cruise to victory had become a struggle. Doğanköy aren’t a team to give up, and a mixture of good shot selection and quick running between the wickets brought them back into the match. With one over to go they were again favourites needing only 3 runs for victory and the League title. 3 dot balls and a single, left 2 required from the last couple of balls. Could Girne Girlies, the rank outsider, topple the champions? The pressure was palpable and finally too much for the Darlings, as quick reactions from the city girls resulted in a run-out which scored -5 runs. Now 6 were required from the last ball. Packington swung but could only manage 3 and the result few had even pondered become reality, a 2 run victory for the Girne Girlies.
When studying the league positions before the match, umpire Phil Sandford had felt Doğanköy would win the Creditwest Ladies League, because even if they lost their last match and all three teams ended the season on 5 win points, they would score enough runs to overtake Lapta on batting bonus points. Girne’s Holman said afterwards, it was a great feeling to not only beat the top team but to end the league equal 2nd with them. She added, it was a definite improvement on the previous league’s last place and when the ladies cricket restarts in September I have real hope of further success.