Beginning the season behind closed doors to keep fans, players and staff safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic, we saw a rocky start against Vipers before the lightning team found their feet in the third game of the season, winning by 134 runs against Thunder.
The club utilised the player pathway for talented female athletes throughout the season as three strong academy players were called up to be part of the senior squad; Beth Harmer, Ella Claridge, and Josie Groves. The New kids on the block showed promise in their time in the Lightning Academy, competing against seven other regional academies. Since their call up, they have shown just how good they are with a bat and ball, and fans can't wait to see their progress in the following season.
During the break, the lightning family kept busy before coming back to finish the season. A mixture of academy players and newly promoted players competed in the 2021 School Games, an annual sporting competition for school-age players. The club players represented their teams and schools exceptionally. Those included were;
- Amy Wheeler
- Ella Claridge
- Josie Groves
- Lucy Weston
- Maddie Ward
- Rhiannon Knowling-Davies
We also watched thirteen Lightning players in action during The Hundred, a brand new 4 week-long, action-packed, 100 ball cricket competition. With success, Sarah Bryce competed with the Oval Invincibles, who won the women's final against Lightning teammate Sonia Odera's Southern Brave team. Other Lightning participants in the games were:
- Kirstie Gordon: Birmingham Phoenix
- Tammy Beaumont and Sophie Munro: London Spirit
- Abbey Freeborn, Alicia Presland, Ella Claridge, Kathryn Bryce, Lucy Higham, Michaela Kirk, Nancy Harman and Teresa Graves: Trent Rockets
Despite not reaching the finals once back from the break, the team ended on a high. The Lightning players showed resilience and drive throughout the season, with some hitting season, club and career highs. As it stands, Kirstie Gordon leads in wickets through the season's competition, reaching a whopping 16 in the final Lightning game. Interestingly, fans witnessed Captain Kathryn's career-high 162 runs alongside a 207-run partnership with younger sister Sarah in the same game. The prodigiously talented pair dominated the home field, making not only a Lightning team record but ending their season with the highest run partnership across the eight teams competing in the Women's Elite Domestic Competition.
We now look forward to the 2021-22 season, hoping to clinch the trophy next time round and see more success from our Lightning Family.
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