Gale Grant only Shields Oxford pain

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Women’s Cricket After a superb victory against Cambridge in April, the
fortunes of the Oxford women’s cricket side took a tumble,
as weather and the absence of key players conspired against them,
and has led to the team missing out on the semi finals of the
BUSA Championship. Firstly matches against Exeter and Brighton, the BUSA Southern
Premier League’s weakest side, were washed out with the
sides gaining a point apiece, then the Oxford side travelled to
Exeter to face a confident top of the table side. After losing
the toss, a disappointing performance with the bat saw nobody,
with the exception of captain Helen Smith, getting on top of the
tight bowling. Smith hit 27, but only found support in Emma
Collins and Sarah Milham, who made 14 and 15 respectively. Oxford
finished on 99/9 after 40 overs. Defending this total was always going to be a difficult task,
made harder by the presence of Ireland international Emma Beamish
at the crease. Exeter ran out 9-wicket winners, Georgia Gale
Grant taking the only wicket. The return of Cambridge to Marston was another disappointing
day. The Tabs, with junior England all-rounder Alexis Mannion
back from National League duty, were a much more competitive
outfit than the side destroyed earlier in term, and accurate
bowling led to them dismissing Oxford for just 98. Opener Heather Lang made a patient 37 and was ninth out, but
lost partners at a steady rate. The Oxford bowling was tight and
Cambridge started slowly. Two wickets in two overs, taken by
Helen Turner and Natalie Wells, gave Oxford hope, but light blue
stalwart Rachel Cowans and the clean hitting Mannion carried them
to their target inside 25 overs. This, combined with the earlier washouts, meant that Oxford
traveled to Brighton with no possibility of qualifying for the
BUSA semifinals, though this time the response to setting a low
target was an outstanding performance with the ball. Skipper
Helen Smith made 42 in the Blues’ 104/9, but the day
belonged to Gale Grant. In an unplayable 6- over spell she took 6
wickets for 4 runs, including a hat-trick. Smith took 2/10 and
Emma Collins 2/2 as Brighton were skittled for 44. Oxford now go into the last 16 of the BUSA Shield hoping to go
all the way in that competition.ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004 

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