Falkland Women celebrate promotion to Home Counties Division 1 after play-off final success against Binfield
Falkland Women secured promotion to the Home Counties Division 1 after a five-wicket victory over Binfield Women in the play-off final.
In a game to decide which team gains automatic promotion to the top flight next season, skipper Holly Rider won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Knowing that the two Binfield openers were in good form, early wickets were going to be vital in restricting Binfield to a chaseable target.
A brave decision to open the bowling with spin worked well, with off-spinner Ava Lee making the early breakthrough by taking two key wickets to peg Binfield back to 62-2.
The introduction of Lottie Aird to the attack then proved the turning point as she ripped out the middle order with a hostile spell of quick bowling taking 3-13.
A couple of wickets from Sophie Armstrong-Wood ensured Falkland wrapped up the Binfield innings for just 102 all out, well below a par score on a good Falkland wicket.
In front of a growing home crowd, the Falkland response started well with the experienced opening partnership of Rider and Lee.
At 58-0 Falkland appeared to be cruising home until Rider was bowled by Kali-Ann Doherty for 25.
This started a mini collapse as the pressure of the final began to hit home, however a very patient and well-timed 41 not out from Lee enabled Falkland to get over the line and win by five wickets.
The win tops off a truly remarkable debut season for the Falkland women, winning 10 out of their 11 games and will see them compete next year against the best women’s teams in the Home Counties.