Both Jersey’s male and female international teams recently returned to action after the global standstill caused by the ongoing pandemic.
A Jersey women’s team, with an average age of 17, travelled to Belfast to play against the Northern Knights. Despite playing only two of the four scheduled games due to bad weather, the games against the Knights were the team’s only competitive matches of 2020. Despite losing both games, there were positive performances which gave a glimpse into the bright future of Jersey’s women’s side. The team were able to restrict the Knights to 93/5 during their first game and Chloe Greechan showed the talent that the team possess as during the second match as she took four wickets for 25 runs and top-scored with 36.
The fixtures represented the first of coach Lee Meloy’s tenure as Jersey’s women’s coach after taking over in April. When speaking to the Jersey Evening Post, Meloy reflected that ‘It’s the first time we’ve had the opportunity to get them off the Island since I took over and it was great to finally get some games played this season’. Meloy described the calibre of their opposition as he stated that ‘The Knights have quite a few good players just below the Irish international standard who can’t commit to full-time cricket in Dublin and they had a couple of internationals too, including Cara Murray, who took 3-18 against us in four overs on Friday’. Not only is it fantastic to see Jersey’s women returning to action, but it is also evident that there is a fantastic pipeline of women’s talent being developed in Ireland.
Meloy when reviewing the action on display, Meloy was realistically presenting that ‘Our (the Jersey Women’s team) average age is 17 and our youngest player is 13 so the results weren’t unexpected, and the performances showed signs of a young side. Bowling and fielding are always the first things to improve and the girls did both very well. The Knights team was very complimentary of how well we bowled and how difficult we make it for them in the field. Ultimately batting was our downfall but that is always something that takes a while. No matter how many balls you hit in the nets it doesn’t replicate a game scenario but that experience will come … Being realistic, this is going to take a few years before we are where we want to be. We’ve got to allow the youngsters, in particular, to work on their game, make mistakes and then improve on them. We’re in a strange scenario in that they’ve representing Jersey at the highest level of women’s cricket when they’re still learning the game but they will keep getting better’.
Jersey women’s team are currently ranked 37th in the world but cricket fans should not be surprised to see the team improve on this ranking. As long as the team continue to be given chances to develop and play more competitive action, the team will improve with the coach that clearly backs their talent. Meloy stated that ‘I’m excited by what’s to come over the next few years’ and it is clear to see why.
Jersey’s men’s squad also made their return to action with the team playing against a touring Marylebone Cricket Club. The match saw the hosts post a mammoth total of 318/4 from the allotted 50 overs then bowling the MCC out for 195. The Jersey innings saw fantastic contributions from J.Lawrenson (100*), A.Tribe (100*) and J.Jenner (48) to help the team get to the fantastic first innings total. During the MCC run chase, J.Sumerauer (4-43) was the pick of the bowlers with R.Palmer (1-28) and D.Birrell also return tidy figures.
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