Many more clubs saw the return of cricket to their grounds last weekend and it was great to see women's fixtures included in the run down of matches. Bovey Tracey hosted Paignton at home, Hatherleigh hosted Exeter, who were playing their first ladies fixture and Plympton women warmed up with a mixed 3rd team friendly at Harewood Park.
The weekend showed great promise for the future of Women's game in the county. Exeter, who were predominantly under 15s played extremely well in their first fixture. Opening with Bea Willis and Georgia Read, they ran quick singles, only hitting 7 boundary 4s between them before Bea was dismissed on 44 with a partnership of 103. Georgia continued to bat well and retired on a score of 64 off 84 balls. A great debut in her first ladies' game. Despite the tight bowling of Hatherleigh, Eloise Maxa taking 4 wickets 17 runs off 3 overs, the whole Exeter team were confident and positive, taking advantage of a nervous first outing with the bat by Hatherleigh Ladies.
Down at Bovey, Emily Roberts, coming in at number 4, was making her debut for Paignton Ladies and also proved confident with the bat, hitting 10 boundary 4s to notch up a score of 65 off 42 balls. It was just what Paignton needed after a great bowling start from Bovey - Abbie Lockett bowling 6 overs for 1 wicket and 10 runs.
The great aspect about all of these teams is the youth of the sides. Made up of predominantly under 18s, it shows the great work being done in clubs to foster the love of the game in girls both at clubs and through local schools.
The shortened Super 8s competition organised by the Devon Women Cricket League starts soon and this fast paced game will certainly favour these young teams, so it looks to be an exciting summer ahead.
With plans being put together by Ann-Marie Presswell, the Women and Girl's Development Officer, to run competitive days at under 11s, 13s and 15s for established cricketers and camps being offered for hardball and softball to build confidence in the girls, it is hoped this wave of womens' cricket continues.