Radlett Women win convincingly at Purley Redoubtables
Radlett Women started their 2014 Southern League campaign precisely where they finished off in 2013.
With promotion already assured Radlett had rounded out their unbeaten 2013 season with an away victory against Purley Redoubtables 2nds. On the same ground in their opening fixture they took on Purley’s 1sts and came away with the same result, albeit in a much harder fought contest.
On an overcast day with the threat of rain never far away, the new Radlett skipper, Alexis Mannion, won the toss and wasted no time in inserting the opposition into bat.
With accurate bowling Radlett strangled the run rate of the opening pair and by the halfway stage the Purley innings was stuttering on 73-1, Lorraine Hartley (1-31) with the early wicket.
With Purley looking to force the issue after the drinks break opportunities for additional wickets came more freely. Leg spinner Anna Harris took 2-20, while Katie Pankhurst (1-13) and Anje Lague (1-38) also made breakthroughs.
Some excellent clean hitting late on from Libby Walters (53) and Bryony Smith (87*) pushed Purley to a competitive total of 191-6 from their 45 allotted overs. Wicketkeeper, Samantha Battman, was at her majestic best behind the stumps claiming two stumpings and an instinctive reaction catch.
Mannion sent out Anna Harris and Catherine McNeill to open the Radlett reply.
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McNeill was making her competitive return to the Radlett team following a four year hiatus, but looked like she had never been away as she settled into her opening partnership with Harris. Following a watchful start the pair put on 128 for the first wicket before McNeill was bowled by Surrey captain, Cecily Scutt, whilst trying to accelerate the run rate.
With 15 overs remaining and needing a little under five runs per over Mannion came to the crease and set about taking the game away from the opposition with a rapid fire unbeaten 44 from just 35 balls.
Harris scored the winning runs with 3.2 overs to spare, carrying her bat for 73, as Radlett recorded a convincing nine-wicket victory.