Hayfield all-girls team create a first in local cricket league
With women’s sport dominating the international headlines in England this summer, with perfect timing Hayfield Cricket Club have launched an all-girls junior team in the Derbyshire & Cheshire League for the first time.
That sees them up against teams of all boys or mixed teams and, after a narrow defeat by Whaley Bridge, they won their second game against High Lane.
Hayfield’s girls’ section is run by Mark Peacock and Alan Lomas and Peacock said the sight of an all-girls team had raised a few eyebrows for opposition.
“I think teams are very surprised when they realise it’s all girls that turn up, though I think they are used to seeing the odd girl playing.
“Most teams are all boys in that league, but a few teams do have one or two girls playing now.
“To be fair, I think once the game starts, the girls get the credit they deserve when the boys realise they can play a good standard.
“I think the boys and parents are impressed with the girls’ standard.”
Hayfield’s girls are aged nine to 15 and Peacock said: “We have had a girls section for four or five years, playing against other girls teams.
“But there are not many around and was difficult to arrange regular matches for them.”
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Peacock believes all the international women’s sport on television right now can only inspire his youngsters.
“With the women’s international cricket being played in England and the Women’s football World Cup on as well, I think its massive that the girls are seeing women’s sport getting the high profile coverage it deserves and that they have role models to aspire to,” he said.
“The future it really exciting as we have a really strong younger crop of U10 girls coming through the junior section.
“We have already achieved five girls from Hayfield CC playing for Derbyshire county teams.
“We now have girls playing in all the traditional boys/junior league teams at every age group - U9, U11, U13, U15, & U17s - and we have even had three girls playing with the men’s second team this year, which is great to see.
“Also we have three girls who also played for Stockport Trinity women in the Cheshire Women’s League First Division.
“I suppose the dream would be to see if one of our girls could make it into the England women’s pathway set up.”
Hayfield currently have around 40 girls playing or training aged from seven to 17.
The club had girls only indoor winter nets at Chapel Leisure Centre, who have been very supportive for the last two years, and they train outside every Friday during the season at Hayfield CC with a Derbyshire County level 3 coach.