St Cross Symondians have won national titles at age group levels (U13 Boys in 2012, U13 Girls in 2016, U15 Girls in 2019), but have never won a national title at senior level.

The opportunity came last Sunday, when their Women’s 1st XI were in the final of the Women’s National T20 Cup, run by the ECB. 

Their opponents in the final were Dorridge from the West Midlands Women’s Cricket League Premier, held at the well-appointed Kibworth CC in Leicestershire.

St Cross won the toss, and openers Alex Avoth and Abbie Whybrow strode out to bat, and got off to their usual brisk start, but in the third over Avoth toe ended a shot to mid wicket who took a good diving forward catch and Avoth departed for 12.  

Skipper Finty Trussler joined Whybrow, and soon they got the scoreboard ticking over again, as the final over of the 6 overs Powerplay was taken for 16, to take St Cross to 49 for 1. 

The batters then accelerated. taking 55 off the next 4 overs, Whybrow seeing the large boundaries as a challenge to be reached or cleared, and Trussler hammering the offside when offered any width. 

The partnership was finally broken having added 158 runs, with the total on 180 in the 18th over, as Whybrow was caught on the boundary. Her 106 took 64 balls, with 5 sixes and 13 fours, a very special innings. Trussler lost Jess Hazell and Sophie Mitchelmore in the quest for end of innings quick runs, but not before the latter had seen Trussler through to her 50. Beth Clarke joined Trussler, and the pair took 11 off the last over, Clarke finishing on 5* and Trussler on a busy 60* off 42 balls with 7 fours – a strike rate of 143, not that much less than Whybrow’s of 166. St Cross totalled an imposing 201 for 4, and the large contingent of St Cross family and supporters were quietly confident. 

In Dorridge’s reply the St Cross Powerplay bowlers were Gemma Lane and Talitha Stanley, and in the second over Lane took the key wicket of Dorridge’s captain and leading run scorer Liz Russell for a duck, thanks to a stunning one handed boundary catch by Whybrow.

The next pair of bowlers were Lucy Counsell and Darcey Clarke, and they kept the Dorridge second wicket pair in check in their 4 overs each, with a run rate of only 6 an over, as the required rate climbed into the high teens. Dorridge had reached 92 for 1 in the 17th over when the wheels began to fall off, as firstly opener Mariam Khan was run out by a combination of Mitchelmore/Hazell for 46. At this point Dorridge needed a six off every remaining ball to win, and that notion was soon dispelled when off the first ball of the next over Emelia Butler clean bowled the no 4 for a duck. 

St Cross had won their first national senior title, and became the first Hampshire club to win this trophy. The victory margin was a very comfortable 90 runs, and Sweet Caroline belted out over the PA system.