It was a good weekend for Somerset, Ireland and Worcestershire, who all won both their games. It was not so hot for Cheshire, Devon, Durham and Wales, who all lost both their games. Lancashire and Staffordshire won their only games of the weekend.
This means that Somerset have now won three out of three. Staffordshire have two out of two, as do Ireland, who had two convincing wins this weekend, which shows their potential to challenge for a place in Division One. Lancashire have won their only game to date against Cheshire with full bonus points, so currently head the table. After an early rain-affected defeat Worcestershire are also coming on strong.
In the next round of matches on 19th May Somerset entertain Ireland and Lancashire host Staffordshire, both of which should be keenly contested matches. Div 2 is looking very competitive.
Somerset 196 ao v Cheshire 144 ao - Somerset won by 52 runs
Fran Wilson top scored for Somerset with a run a ball 59, and there were solid contributions from Lauren Shrubsole (33) and Lorraine Szczepanski (24). Dawn Prestidge finished with 4/20 for Cheshire. In response Cheshire got to 119/2 having weathered Anya Shrubsole's opening spell. But when she returned she dismissed Kate Coppack (48) and five further Cheshire batsmen within 28 balls for just four runs to win the game for Somerset. Shrubsole finished with 6/19.
Devon 232/3 v Ireland 235/1 (39 overs) - Ireland won by 9 wickets
Rosalie Birch (102*) and Aylish Cranstone (78) shared a second wicket stand of 157 at Torquay, but it was not enough as Ireland started their weekend in style with Isobel Joyce (95*) and Laura Delaney (66*) cruising to victory with 11 overs and 9 wickets to spare.
Wales 189/6 v Staffordshire 191/4 (48.4 ovs) - Staffs won by 6 wickets
Wales' respectable total was built around solid knocks from Gabby Basketter (42), Becky Williams (39) and Rebecca Struthers (39). Steph Butler was the pick of the bowlers with 3/6 off her 10 overs. An opening stand of 82 from Cheryl Allcock (48) and Charlotte Whyle (32) set up the Staffs reply with none of the eight Welsh bowlers really able to trouble the Staffs batsmen. Staffs eventually won with eight balls to spare.
Worcestershire 126 ao v Durham 96 ao - Worcestershire won 30 runs
Not a great day for the Worcestershire batsmen as they limped to 126 all out in just over 30 overs (Rachael Petherick 4/16), but even worse for the Durham team, who lost wickets at regular intervals to Rachel Baldwin (3/16) and Melissa Norup (3/20) to finish well short of their target.
Cheshire 101 ao v Lancashire 102/2 (20.2ovs)- Lancashire won by 8 wickets
Jennifer Laycock (4/6) left Cheshire in a mess as they struggled to 101 before they were bowled out in the 42nd over. Lancashire raced to their target, losing just two wickets, in slightly over 20 overs, with Emma Lamb (35*) and Laycock (28) scoring the bulk of the runs.
Worcestershire 168/6 v Devon 138 ao - Worcestershire won by 30 runs
Worcestershire completed a miserable weekend for Devon, and a good one for them, as they won their second match of the weekend. Set 169 to win, based around a pain-staking 65 not out from 139 balls from Charlotte Holtom, Devon fell well short thanks to the offspin of Jo Greaves, who claimed her best ever match figures of 5/14. Thea Brookes chipped in with 3/32.
Somerset 260/7 v Durham 147/8 - Somerset won by 115 runs
Somerset's imposing target was set due to a fine 93 not out from Sophie Luff and 74 from Fran Wilson. Durham never looked like getting close and Jenny Withers (3/17) and Anya Shrubsole (3/29) both claimed three wickets apiece.
Wales 146/7 v Ireland 148/3 (29.5ovs) - Ireland won by 7 wickets
Ireland completed an emphatic double for the weekend with a convincing win over Wales thanks to another fine knock by Isobel Joyce (75*). Eimear Richardson (3/27) and Amy Kenealy (3/36) were the chief wicket-takers as Wales limped to an under-par 146 in their 50 overs.