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Perhaps there is a shortage of females in the Greater London area. Or maybe its just females of a cricket-playing persuassion but, once again, the Wanderers found themselves up against depleted opponents - both in terms of top players and - well- players! Bath themselves were shorn of Sophie Luff (pictured above even though she chose to captain England U19s instead of going to Loughton) and Anya Shrubsole (not allowed to play once again as a result of an on-going elbow problem) but they manage to get the full eleven players all the way to Essex and come away with a victory.

Loughton was wet - although probably more "soft" than actually wet - and there was only one thing to do on winning the toss, which Jackie Hawker promptly did. Unfortunately some of the home top-order did not realise the softness of the pitch and played shots that were better suited to the WACA (from where Elwyn Campbell had recently returned). Laura Owen attacked Comfort and simply looped the ball to Wilson at point - but was disappointingly reserved on her walk back to the (quaintly thatched) pavilion. Next ball leapt at Courtnell who gloved to the keeper Le Marchand who was returning to the fold to up the "poshness" quota. Two balls later and captain Cook (that's Jo not James) - who clearly hadn't been watching the game at all- launched an expansive drive at the same bowler and looped the ball to Howe in the covers. Only last week Moira Comfort was bemoaning the fact that, despite bowling well, she just wasn't getting any wickets....well today she had 3-2 off 2 overs and promptly stopped moaning until later but that was quite a different sort of moan!. 

At last some home batters showed a bit of fight, taking the score to 32 before Comfort struck again, giving her match figures of 4-15. After that it was a steady flow of wickets and a trickle of runs as Withers and Hawker picked up two wickets apiece. Indeed, the Bath captain was only denied the opportunity of taking a hat-trick by the capital's lack of female players....watch this space for her first ball in a couple of week's time! Loughton all out for 64 (even though they were much better that our previous opponents in The Smoke) and no rain yet!

Elwyn Campbell made the adjustment from the WACA conditions look quite straight-forward until she decided to test her sprinting speed. Fran Wilson was beligerent as ever before being tempted down the track by their new Aussie leg-spinner (quite what she must have made of her first game in England is anyone's guess). Beth Howe was composed until she huffled across her stumps and it was left to Sophie Le Marchand to take the team home with a confident little cameo of 17 not out...who needs practise?!

It says something about the game when the most dramatic moment of the day took place in the short break between innings. Elwyn Campbell's first shot of her throw-downs was struck beautifully and very, very straight. So straight in fact that it hit the thrower - Moira Comfort - extremely hard on the ankle. It was just as well that we did not lose many more wickets since Moi was in no condition to bat as her ankle turned black and blue and tripled in size very quickly. It was a stroke of fortune to find that loyal supporter Thiaan Aspeling always has a ready supply of ice in his car (why??) and came to the aid of the stricken Bath bowler. We hope that Moira recovers quickly.

 

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