Is the first trophy of a few this season heading Yorkshire’s way on Sunday? Fingers crossed.
The county’s women head to Northern CC in Liverpool on Sunday for the ECB’s County T20 Finals Day, where hosts Lancashire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are all involved.
Yorkshire face Derbyshire in the morning semi-final, while group winners Lancashire face Nottinghamshire. Both semi-finals start at 11am at the two-pitch Liverpool Competition venue before a 3pm final.
Yorkshire, captained by Beth Langston, won four of their six group games and finished second in the table behind Lancashire, who won six from six.
If Yorkshire are to be victorious, they are likely to have to overcome two sides who beat them in the group stage – Derbyshire and then Lancashire.
Coach Mark Harrison said: “We played Derbyshire in the league stage and got beat quite heavily, but we just didn’t perform that day. We didn’t bowl as well as we can do.
“I’m confident that, with the improvement we know we have – finding consistency, we can turn that result around and then have a crack at Lancashire in the final.
“Of course, it could be Nottinghamshire. But Lancashire are strong favourites given the players they have at their disposal. It is pretty much their Thunder team they have been putting out.
“To finish second in the league and to have a massive opportunity to get to a final, I think is an outstanding achievement.
“We’re confident. We’ll go there, enjoy and see what we can do.”
Harrison is hopeful Katie Levick will be fit to play following injury, but Bess Heath misses out.
“It’s been challenging with the injuries we’ve had to contend with, etc, but I’ve really enjoyed it,” said Harrison of his first season in charge.
“We have a number of Academy girls with us, and the experience has been invaluable for them.
“I think Phoebe Turner’s been a standout player for us, and you can see why she has gone up to the Diamonds’ senior squad this summer.”
Should Yorkshire be victorious, they will finish as one of the eight regional winners across the country.
And, while Harrison has got some friendlies arranged throughout the rest of the summer against Lancashire and North East Warriors to slot in below the regional programme when that kicks off on May 14, he would advocate the inclusion of a national stage to the ECB County T20 competition in future summers.
“I think county cricket is vital to the future of the women’s game,” he said. “It is a major part of the pathway through to the Diamonds.
“I know the regional set-up is the main priority, but I do think there could be something in place, senior wise, to run after this competition.
“Yes, the sides won’t be as strong because of availability. But does that matter?
“If it means playing your Under 18s because more senior players aren’t available, then play them. It will be a big thing for their development.
“It would have to be done during the Hundred, and it could be completed over a weekend.
“It would also help provide a senior environment for those 100-ball squad members who aren’t in the first choice team but still need senior cricket. I think it would be a good way of stopping them becoming stagnant.”