Northern Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage believes winning such a close game against Central Sparks will give her side some precious momentum going into their last game of the first block of Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy fixtures next week.

Diamonds beat Central Sparks by just one run in a thrilling match which featured a sensational final over for the ages from the skipper herself at Edgbaston today.

Chasing 217, Sparks entered the last over needing just four to win with three wickets in hand – but lost all those wickets to fall short on 215 all out with a scrambled run out off the last ball when they needed two to win.

The Diamonds won their third game in five this season and travel to Beckenham next – on Wednesday – to take on the table-topping South East Stars. 

“I’ve never ever bowled a last over like that before,” said Armitage.

“I was just thinking, ‘Stay tall in your action and get it down there’, to be honest. 

“Then, the first ball was short and wide, and she (Katie George) hit it to point. So I don’t think there was much of me in that. 

“It’s not a situation I have been in before, but I thought I was the best option of the bowlers we had left. Luckily, it came off.

“Sometimes an inconsistent leg-spinner is a better option in those situations than a consistent one.

“After a couple of narrow losses, being able to get over the line here will give us a massive boost leading into the last game of this block. We are really happy with this win. and hopefully that will give us some momentum to go into the next game.”

And Armitage was pleased with the way the whole team hung in there when, until the very last few balls of the match, it looked like they were second favourites to win.

“The fight from the girls today was absolutely outstanding,” she added.

“Through a lot of their innings, the Sparks were favourites. 

“I don’t think we batted particularly well again today, and we were probably 20 or 30 runs short. But we knew that with the pitch deteriorating a little bit we were always going to be in the game.

“Being able to take the game all the way to the last over when they were cruising at some points was pretty special. 

“If you replayed that last over, it could have gone the other way completely. But we were on the right side today.”

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