It is another Sunday of club fixtures this week in the five regional leagues, although I cannot tell you anything about the Yorkshire Women's League as the Play Cricket website does not seem to be updated (apart from Beverley beat Treeton last week by 3 wickets). Do they not like Play Cricket in Yorkshire, or are they just keeping their players under wraps?
In the Southern Premier League Finchley take on Brighton; Hursley take on Hayes; Loughton take on Bexley; and Bath take on Wokingham. The two games to watch out for are the Hursley v Hayes fixture and the Bath v Wokingham fixture. Hayes rolled over Finchley with ease last week and Hursley looked a decent batting team against Brighton. Bath demolished 9 player Bexley last week, but will find Wokingham a stiffer task, for whom we understand England skipper Charlotte Edwards is now on the player roster. It will be good to see some competitive cricket for the stronger sides in the Southern League this week.
There are just two games again in the South West Premier League - Plympton take on last week's winners Newport in what should be a good clash. Bristol Phoenix, who just lost out to Newport last week, will be looking to beat Taunton Griffins, who have some interesting names in their squad list, including Caroline Atkins and Jodie Dibble. Squad lists and players turning out are not quite the same thing though.
In the Midlands Premier League Meir Heath take on Burton Latimer - MH lost their first match and BL won theirs; Quatt take on Pershore - Quatt lost to BL last week and Pershore, yet to play, had a good 2012, but have they still got the players they had last year? The final game is Sheffield United v Clifton Village, which should be the game of the weekend in terms of overall quality on show.
In Division 1 of the Cheshire League (they do not have a Premier Division) last year's champions Appleton take on Romily and Chester Broughton host Stalybridge St Pauls. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday also see the first round games in their knockout cup competition (in which 11 teams take part) - Bredbury St Marks v Hawarden Park; Trafford Metrovics v Oakmere and Stalybridge St Pauls v Stockport Trinity.
Club cricket varies enormously in standard from club to club, and often even within a club from week to week. The inclusion of one or two "key" players can make an enormous difference to a team's fortunes. Many teams, even in these top leagues, struggle to put out a side at all on occasions. The aim has to be to improve the overall quality and consistency of club cricket for women and girls, but the question is how can this best be done? Any ideas? We'd love to hear them, along with all your match highlights and reports.
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