Essex Women suffer defeat in season finale

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The Essex Women’s XI lost to Hampshire by 50 runs on Sunday at Billericay in the final match of the season.

Hampshire elected to bat first and got off to a bright start as Charlie Dean and Samantha Betts put up 35 runs between them.

Essex then struck back as Betts was bowled for 20 by Hannah Jeffery and her replacement Emily Windsor scored just two runs before Jeffrey trapped her LBW.

But Dean was immovable as she and Ella Chandler built up a 96-run partnership. Chandler was finally caught by Beth Dodd off the bowling of Shona Keaney for 47 runs, and shortly afterwards Dean reached her half century.

Emily Finch dismissed Dean for 54 runs as she was caught behind by Rebecca Neill and the wickets came fairly regularly after that for Essex, as Finch collected two more and Mady Villiers dismissed Providence Cowdrill LBW for 22.

But despite the slight struggle at the end, Hampshire completed their innings with a stellar total of 192-7 in 50 overs.

In reply, Essex made a dreadful start, losing their top four — Villiers, Jessica Bird, captain Cordelia Griffith and Kelly Castle — for just 13 total runs.

Kara Toleman was the sole bright spot for Essex as she made 58 runs, but her partners came and went.

Beth Dodd was caught and bowled by Cowdrill for 11 runs and Neill was caught behind after scoring 10.

Keaney was bowled for duck and then Toleman was finally dismissed, caught by Clover Cross off the bowling of Becky Hartnett.

The rest of the order went cheaply and Essex were bowled all out for 142 runs in 44.5 overs, 50 runs behind Hampshire.

Betts and Chloe Micklethwaite each took three wickets for Hampshire, with Betts allowing just 14 runs in 10 overs, four of which were maidens.