THE recently-formed Somerset Girls Under-12s development team played their first match away to Wellington School Under-13s A recently, and recorded a narrow victory at the end of an exciting match, writes Richard Walsh.

The team, coached and nurtured by Somerset Women’s captain Sophie Luff, bonded well and there was a real buzz and excitement around the squad.

It was a great first opportunity for the girls to play together at Wellington, although they were a bit daunted by the occasion.

Maisie Pope and Annabel Lamb opened the innings competently, with the former retiring on 22, after a sensible innings with lots of quick runs hit into the gaps.

A quick-fire eight from Genevieve Donaldson helped to push the scoreboard on, and then captain Lola Harris came to the crease and worked the ball around, scoring some quick singles, ending 16 not out.

A particular strength was the quick running between the wickets and communication between batters that helped the Somerset girls post a total of 117.

It was then the Under-12s’ turn to bowl, with everyone having two overs each.

With only nine wides bowled in the 20 overs, the bowling remained tight.

Two wicket maidens came from Pope and Ottilie Sykes, along with Connie Osborn who also picked up a wicket in her overs, while the other wickets came from well-timed run-outs.

In reply to Somerset’s 117-6, Wellington ended on 109-5 to give the visitors victory in a close game played in great spirit that was a learning experience for all involved.

The Somerset team would like to especially thank Caroline Foster and the Wellington School team for making them feel so welcome for their first match.


SOPHIE Luff was again involved as Somerset Women continued their push for promotion back to the top flight of the ECB 50-over competition by beating Wales by six runs at Nailsea on Sunday.

After winning the toss and batting first, Somerset openers Georgina Adcock and Nicole Richards got the side off to a great start by adding 97 for the first wicket, before Richards was dismissed for 31.

Adcock was then joined by skipper Sophie Luff, and together they saw up the three figures.

With the total on 120, however, Adcock was out for 49.

Luff continued with her fine run of form and along with Gwenan Davies saw the total on to 190.

Wales’ Ffion Wynne claimed a hat-trick and Somerset eventually ended up on 210-9 off their overs, Luff out for a run-a-ball 61 which included seven 4s.

The Wales reply was contained by the impressive opening attack of Cassie Coombes and Georgina Tulip, as well as excellent fielding.

Wales opener Gabrielle Basketter impressed as she carried her bat for 107 (off 142 balls, with 14 fours); their next highest score was 18, as the visitors ended on 204-6.

The pick of the Somerset bowlers was Lorraine Szczepanski, who claimed 2-39 from her 10 overs, while Coombes ended with 1-34 from her 10, of which three were maidens, and she also took a catch and claimed a run-out.

Sadly, the match against Worcestershire at the same venue on Monday was abandoned without a ball bowled because of the weather.

Luff commented: “Despite the [Monday] game being abandoned, it still leaves us sitting at the top of the table after a nail-biting win against Wales.

“We were probably 20 runs short of where we wanted to be with the bat and in comparison to our first three outings, our fielding was not up to our standards, but sometimes you just have to find a way to get over the line and we did that.

“Cassie Coombes and Georgia Tulip came back at the death to bowl the last 10 overs and they did it brilliantly.

“We hadn’t been challenged yet in Division 2 and Wales certainly made it hard work for us.

“Next up is the T20 competition, where we will fight it out in the top division from June 18 in.

“We only have two 50-over games left and they are due to be played at the end of August.

“We would like to offer huge thanks to Nailsea CC for their hospitality over the two days and their tremendous efforts to try to get the game played on Monday.”