The Club's Annual Report to the AGM covers the season's successes and disappointments but by its nature reports are brief. The report received from Lady Llama skipper, Jess Whitcher, will be much shortened for the AGM report but we thought the membership would enjoy reading her full report on another great season. The picture is of the scoreboard recording the winning of the Elite T20 league final.
In 2023 the ladies 1st team played 14 games and won 11 across two formats of the game, 3 losses and 1 abandoned, due to rain! We've got a squad of over 30 players who have all played this season.
In the league, it all came down to the final game, knowing we had to win. Shepperton scored 106/7 off their 35 overs and we chased it down in 12 overs for just one wicket. We had won the league for the second time in a row, back to back Champions. Only 2 teams scored more than 150 runs against us.
In the elite T20 league, for the third year running, we made it to finals day. We won our semi final against Malden by 86 runs after scoring 189/8 off our 20 overs, Lucy Harris scoring 63* and Amy Gordon 45 with wickets from Jess Whitcher, Amy Gordon, Emily Taylor and Anna Lewis. In the final, we restricted a very strong Richmond side to 109/9 with wickets from Jess Whitcher, Izzy Wall and Emily Burke plus some wonderful run outs from Naomi Saunders. Kirsty Dymond top scored with 36 and Amy Gordon (20) chased down the target in 15.2 overs for just 4 wickets! We took back our trophy from Richmond having completed the double and leaving us unbeaten in the T20 league.
Batting has been our strength, with top performances from Rosie Foster, who scored 66 two games on the bounce to kickstart the season, and ended with the excellent average of 53.0. Lucy Harris hit some big shots and was our 3rd highest scorer and we had the luxury of Amy Gordon coming back into the top order, playing some great innings and providing top entertainment. Our leading run scorer (and winner of the batter of the season award) with 266 runs was Kirsty Dymond who sat at the top of the order and provided a powerful base for the rest of our batters to spring on from. Both Rosie and Lucy have opened up with her and both excel when batting together.
Our best bowling figures of 5/4 off 4 overs came from Naomi Saunders. Bowler of the year was Jess Whitcher who took 24 wickets who excelled in the T20 finals day with 2 x 5 wicket hauls in the semi final, including a hat trick, and the final. Lily Foster bowled well, taking 13 wickets with some genuine spin, and Emily Taylor excelled with her catching.
Our players’ player award goes to Anna Lewis. She is an all rounder who joined the club this year and has made a big impact, both on and off the field. She has become one of the lady llama family, embracing the way we function and banter each other. Her fielding has been brave and admirable, her bowling quick and accurate, and her batting aggressive, which we've loved!
Outside of llamaland, Rosie and Lily Foster and Lucy Harris all had call ups to the South East Stars Academy programme. Emily Burke made her debut for the South East Stars and Amy Gordon captained more Surrey women's games and had great success in doing so. Namoi Saunders and Bronwyn Tharp travelled to India to compete in a cricket tournament out there. Anna Lewis, Millie Hetherington, Bella Barton, Sophie Bellew, Charlotte Webber, Lauren Parish and Kiera Johnson continue their journeys at County CAG level. Charlotte Mahmood is also continuing at the MCC programme.
Looking forward to next season, we are going for our third successive league win and the elite T20 tittle for the third time in its 4 year history.
I cannot express my pride for the ladies side and how far we have come. Each player plays for each other and support each other when cricket gets tough.