The Bears were crowned champions after an emotion-mincing double-header on the final day at Portland Road. Defeat to Sussex in the first game left his team feeling “down,” admitted Ostler, but they then showed the stuff of champions by bouncing back to seal the title with victory over Lancashire.
With the pressure on, the Bears totalled an impressive 150 against The Red Rose with captain Marie Kelly, who had earlier been awarded a special county cap by Warwickshire legend Ian Bell for her hundredth appearance in a Bears shirt, leading from the front with a superb 76 from 57 balls.
In the first game they were nervy and didn’t do themselves justice and they were down after that. But that’s when you really find out what people are made of and their response was brilliant, led by Marie.Dom Ostler
Lancashire were then dismissed for 130, Georgia Davis and Jess Couser taking three wickets apiece, as the title was sealed to supply the perfect conclusion to the Bears’ first season under women and girls performance manager Laura MacLeod and coaches Ostler and Tom Brown.
“I was so pleased for the players because they have worked so hard and their success is totally deserved,” Ostler said.
“In the 50-over tournament, they played some very good cricket but just couldn’t get over the line in games. But they learned from that, as good players do, and in the T20 really showed what they are capable of.
“To clinch the title the way they did on the last day was real testament to their ability and character. In the first game they were nervy and didn’t do themselves justice and they were down after that. But that’s when you really find out what people are made of and their response was brilliant, led by Marie.
“I said to Marie that it was traditional, when you get your 100th cap, to score a hundred. She didn’t quite do that but her innings was every bit as good as a hundred. She batted superbly when her team needed it and led the team brilliantly as always. I am so pleased for her because she has given so much to Warwickshire cricket and nobody deserve the success more.”
With the men’s Vitality Blast starting soon, the Bears’ women having given their male counterparts something to emulate by putting silverware on the shelf.
“There are only two trophies up for grabs in the season,” said Ostler, “so if someone had said at the start of the season that we will win one of them we would have certainly accepted that.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my first season in charge and loved working alongside Tom and Laura. Tom has done some great work and with all Laura’s knowledge and experience I think we make a very good team. The players have responded brilliantly so who knows what this Bears squad is capable of in the future.”