FEMALE cricketers have been playing in the Devon League for more than 20 years, but none of them has claimed a hat-trick… until now, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Katie Donovan opened the bowling for Clyst against Bideford 2ndXI and performed the hat-trick on the way to taking five wickets for 28 runs as the opposition subsided to 101 all out. All three of her hat-trick victims were bowled.

Opener Julian Hayter made 19 for Bideford. That was as good as it got.

Oz Besley, who skippered Clyst 2ndXI, said Donovan is a bowler who knows what she was doing.

“She set the batsman up nicely for her first wicket: two balls that went away from him then she brought one back in…” said Besley.

“It was a brilliant spell that earned her four wickets – and when she came back later she took another wicket with her first ball.

“Katie is becoming a fabulous bowler and we are fortunate to have her and a couple more lady cricketers in our squad.

“Georgia Read kept wicket in this game and it won’t be long before Sophie Florides is back from university.

“Sophie very nearly played in the first team last season. If Katie keeps performing the way she has been, who knows if she might get a chance.”

Earlier, Bideford skipper Ian Hayter tried nine bowlers without much success as Clyst yomped along to 308 for eight on their Bohea Field ground. Stephen Bourke helped himself to 120 off 68 balls.