TEAMS from Golden Hill and Apperley have both qualified for group finals in Vitality Girls Club T20 competitions.
Golden Hill squeezed into the U13 group final thanks to an exciting three-run win away to Cheltenham at Dean Close.
And Apperley qualified for the U15 group final following an 18-run home success against last year’s finalists Plymouth.
Golden Hill lost the toss in damp conditions and struggled to 56-5 after 11 overs, opener Tilly Bending hitting 21, before Daisy Hawke and Eva Ewers put together a tremendous unbroken partnership of 48 which transformed the innings.
Daisy went on to reach 32 off 46, including three boundaries, while Eva’s 12 from 21 helped their side reach 103-5 and ensure Cheltenham had a testing target to chase.
The home side lost an early wicket, Bea Bending completing a run out with a direct hit in the drizzle, but appeared to be in control at 45-3 after nine overs and then 90-4 from 14.
But Golden Hill came right back into contention thanks to memorable spells under pressure from Lilia Richards and Bea Bending.
Lilia followed up a haul of 6-0 in the previous round with figures of 2-2 from seven balls while Bea captured a crucial wicket in her only over as their side closed out a superb win.
Golden Hill now prepare to be away to Hursley Park, of Winchester, on July 23 when the winners will progress to a national semi-final in August with the hope of playing in the final on September 3.
Also preparing for a group final are Apperley U15s thanks to their victory over Plymouth (both teams pictured above).
The match appeared in doubt on Saturday night after heavy rain saturated the village club’s ground but a drying wind and great work by a team of volunteers enabled the tie to proceed.
Apperley’s innings was dominated by Megan Ahearn who top scored on 50 from 50 balls, reaching her half century with a well timed cover drive, while there were also crucial knocks from Lucy Ball (25 not) and Millie Downey (18) in a total of 121-4 compiled after losing the toss.
In reply, Plymouth made a steady start before Megan took two wickets, including a superb caught-and-bowled, to finish with 2-21 from five overs.
Lucy Bull kept the pressure on with her first three overs costing only eight runs, eventually taking 1-20 from five, while Sophie Rayer (2-24 from 4.5) and Seren Radcliffe (1-35) also did excellent jobs, backed up by some fine fielding.
Apperley will now be home in the group final against Newport on July 23 (2pm) with the victorious side going through to a national semi-final next month.
Both events are hard ball competitions with the U13s playing on a 19-yard pitch with maximum boundaries of 50 yards, while the U15s are on a 20-yard pitch with maximum boundaries of 55 yards.