Bears Women’s Captain Marie Kelly was ‘immensely proud’ of her side as the Bears became regional T20 Champions for a second year in a row.
Having seen their previous six fixtures (three double-headers) abandoned without a ball being bowled due to the weather, the Bears headed to Leek Cricket Club looking to emulate their 141 run-chase against Somerset in last year’s final.
Drawn against Worcestershire Rapids in the semi-final, the Bears secured a 37-run victory against their local rivals, before chasing down Staffordshire’s 102 in 15.5 overs with just one wicket down.
“It was a fantastic day and I’m so proud to have secured the trophy once again,” said Kelly. “Our preparations haven’t been ideal with the weather, but I thought we approached the day with a lot of professionalism and clarity in our planning.
“Beating Worcestershire is always pleasing as we know what the rivalry means, and our chase in the final was near faultless. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.”
Bears, led by Dom Ostler and assisted by Tom Brown and Sarah Ginn, had a 12-player squad blended with experience and youth.
Kelly, alongside opening partner Eve Jones, have represented England A, whilst Hannah Baker proved to be an upcoming star as one of the leading wicket-takers in the Under-19s T20 World Cup over the winter.
Georgia Davis made her 100th appearance for the Bears and was presented with a cap before the semi-final, which Kelly, Amy Jones, Anisha Patel and Liz Russell have all received in previous seasons.
Ellie Phillips, Samadhi Samakaroon and Tash Smitten are therefore the new names in the team, but Kelly believes they have contributed immensely.
“We’re a really close group with a great mix of ages and cricketers,” Kelly added. “The younger, inexperienced cricketers who have come into the team over the past few years have settled very quickly.
“Heading into Finals Day we knew what we were up against having played against and alongside many of the players with Central Sparks and now Blaze. But although we know what it takes to win, we have to be still go out and prove it.
“The future is very bright for Women’s cricket within Warwickshire and hopefully there are many more trophies to follow.”
Over 75% sold for Women’s Ashes IT20
For the first time, Edgbaston will host a Women’s Ashes IT20 as the oldest rivalry in cricket returns to Birmingham – and over 15,500 tickets have already been sold!
Watch local stars including Amy Jones and Issy Wong in action as we make history on Saturday 1 July, 6.30pm start. Tickets are available from only £17 for adults and under 16s £5.