Ansty Ladies fell just short at the ECB Vitality Women's Club T20 finals over the weekend, losing to Bishop's Stortford by five wickets in the final.
The side travelled to Wales to participate in their first National Finals and came up against Sessay CC's Emeralds 1st XI in the semi final. A cloudy Newport morning saw Sessay win the toss and elect to bat, but a prompt wicket by Naomi Woods stopped Sessay from building early momentum.
Strong bowling from Ansty meant no Sessay player scored higher than 25, and the pressure was kept on throughout the innings. Natasha Sole was the main wicket taker with 4-12, helping her side bowl Sessay out for a total of 81 in the last over.
That left Ansty with a target of 82, and they started strongly with some good fours from Lucy Western and Regina Suddahazai to set the ball rolling. However, Suddahazai was bowled with the score at 19, and Frankie Angel joined Western at the crease. This partnership saw Ansty home, with Western scoring an unbeaten 27 and Angel hitting 33 not out off just 26 balls to steer the Sty into the final.
After a four-hour break, Ansty then faced Bishop's Stortford in the final and were instantly put in to bat after once again losing the toss. Suddahazai was run out early as Ansty looked to push from the start, with the score at just seven. Angel came and went not long after having added just three runs, but Natasha Sole came in and steadied the ship. Her total of 31 helped see the Sty home with 125-3 after their 20 overs, but it was Lucy Western, who remained unbeaten on 73, that shone at the crease for Ansty.
In the Bishop's Stortford innings, Ansty started strongly taking two wickets for just eight runs, but Stortford recovered well and proved too strong for the Ansty fielders, deploying aggressive batting tactics and cruising to victory with 11 balls to spare.
In the final, Ansty's young side couldn't quite live up to their standards set in the Semi final, but their overall performance on the day was fantastic.
Manager Dave Burt was upbeat after the day of cricket, saying: "We entered this competition to get the girls more cricket against new teams and ended up finishing second in the country. We just fell short today but overall it was a fantastic experience, the girls were superb."
Ansty now look to their WCSL 50 over season, starting this week, as they begin with a home game against Ickenham.