Hayes Women retain Kent Hardball Club Festival trophy

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Women win Hardball Festival

Following the Hayes women’s success of last year’s event, a young but very talented Hayes side repeated that achievement on Saturday 25th February.

Hosted at North Kent College in Dartford, eight teams took part: Bexley, High Halstow, Mersham Sports, Capel, Town Malling, Orpington, Beckenham and Hayes, split into 2 groups of four teams. Match format was 8 x 4-ball overs with runs from hitting the walls/back wall and running 2/3rd of the distance between the wickets.

Our side, expertly captained and led by Chelsey Rowson played three matches in our group.

In the first match against Capel, Hayes racked up 109 for the loss of only 1 wicket. Chelsey (22*), Beth (22*), Shania (21*), Lucia (17*) and Esha (15) were all in the runs. Capel was restricted to just 33 for 3 in their innings, with Chelsey, Beth and Esha grabbing a wicket each.

The second game against High Halstow saw another dominant Hayes batting display as we amassed 94 for the loss of only one wicket again. Shania (22*) Lucia (21*) and Beth (18*) all put the Halstow bowling to the test. In reply, High Halstow were skittled for 30 with Jess (3 wickets for 4 runs), Beth (2 for 9) and Lucia (1 for 9) all proving too strong.

The third game against Mersham proved more of a challenge. Having lost the toss and batting first again, Hayes made 74 for 5. After a flurry of wickets and a dubious run out decision against Chelsey, the lower order came to the rescue with important runs (Lucia 14 and Jess 12). Special mention of Shania, who opened the batting for Hayes, retired on 20 – then went back into bat after other wickets fell, and finished on 29 not out – a tournament high score.

Defending our lowest total, our girls all bowled and fielded brilliantly – restricting Mersham to 56 for 5 (Chelsey 2 for 9).

Having lost too much time during the day with changeover of games, and having to finish by 3pm, it wasn’t possible to playoff for the final. So, the organisers adjudicated that the overall winner would be decided from stats of total runs per wicket lost for the two group winners – across the three matches each had played.

Hayes’ total of 277 runs for the loss of 7 wickets (average 39.5) beat Bexley’s 180 for the loss of 5 wickets (average 36).

A great performance from all the girls, and some pre-season silverware – many congratulations to them and my thanks to all for playing.

Special thanks to Chelsey for captaining the side, and to Sam Millard for providing support throughout the day.

Richard Sheridan

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