Blue Belles impress in first league match

By Donna Sutton / Connor Steel

It was a winning start for Gosport Borough Cricket Club’s W10 team, the Blue Belles, who got off to a flying start in glorious and summer sunshine at Privett Park last Sunday (May 8); winning their first ever W10 league game against local side Portsmouth in a fairly comfortable victory over their rivals.

Portsmouth won the toss and elected to bowl first, with the Blue Belles making a slow start with 4s and sixes proving difficult for the team. However they recovered well as everybody added contributions with the bat including many extras from the boundaries; scoring 119 runs from their twenty overs.

But W10 rules say that five runs must be taken off the score for every wicket lost; with Gosport losing all of Georgina Hoban, captain Julie Way, Kate Lambert and Jessica Erdogan in their four losses as everybody got equal time to bat in pairs. Therefore a total of twenty runs were taken off the scores with Portsmouth needing 99 to win overall from their allotted overs in what many thought was a tough chance.

Portsmouth started well as they hit a couple of boundaries, but Gosport dug deep with a fine display of fielding and tight bowling; the visitors losing wickets regularly as Sadie Upshall and Janika J took two apiece as they restricted the batter’s response to 85-8 from their twenty overs of batting.

Their eight wickets mean 40 runs have been taken off their score, meaning that they finished on 45 overall and lost by 54 runs for Gosport in a comfortable victory. Adding both scores to a two hundred run start as per competition rules Gosport finished on a net score of 299 with Portsmouth ending on 245, the hosts getting the three points for winning their first cricket game of this 2022 summer campaign.

Gosport captain, Julie Way, was over the moon as she said: ’It was a whole team effort. Everyone contributed and the game was played in a really great spirit. Some of us have never played cricket before so it just shows how much our training has helped to prepare us. Our coaches Pete and Gary are brilliant.’

She continued to praise the sport stating: ‘W10 offers women from 12 upwards the chance to get involved with cricket whether that’s playing, scoring, umpiring or supporting. It’s played with a soft(er) ball and it’s growing in popularity. There’s a great spirit in the squad – it’s supportive and friendly and a good way to keep active. We’re always keen to welcome new players and everyone’s welcome.’

The next league game will see the Blue Belles on Sunday (May 22) as they travel to Havant before visiting Petersfield on Bank Holiday Friday with an evening encounter. Readers can keep up-to-date on the team’s fixtures and events by visiting their Facebook page, whilst the rules of the sport can be found by clicking the information link here as written by the English Cricket Board (ECB).

PICTURED BY BLUE BELLES: Batsman attempts to hit ball to fence as fielders look on behind the stumps.