Red Rose blooms as women claim a double win

Preston and Leyland Citizen: Lancashire's Kate Cross has been handed an ECB contract Lancashire's Kate Cross has been handed an ECB contract

LANCASHIRE Women got their County Championship Division Two campaign off to the perfect start with two wins in two days on a Bank Holiday to remember.

Jasmine Titmuss’ outfit, who were only denied promotion last season after suffering their only defeat of the campaign in the play-offs, got off to a flyer against Ireland at Liverpool on Sunday and backed that win up with another comprehensive win on the road on Bank Holiday Monday.

At Aigburth, England pace bowler Kate Cross, who has been awarded an England contract by the ECB, made an immediate impact as she trapped Ireland’s Emma Flanagan with the first ball of the campaign on her way to 4-29 from 8.1 overs.

Bhumika Doshi and Nalisha Patel also claimed two wickets each with Tirmuss also picking one up as the Irish, who were fresh from taking part in the ICC Women’s T20, were bowled out for 122 with Isobel Joyce (35) and Mary Waldron (25) the top scorers.

Lancashire were in the mood to get off to a winning start and in front of a boistrious crowd enjoying the Liverpool Cricket Club beer festival, Hoghton’s Emma Lamb was the star of the show for the Red Rose.

Lamb made a classy 57, while wicketkeeper Ellie Threlkeld made 31 and Natalie Brown also hit 17 as Lancashire coasted over the line with six wickets in hand.

The girls were straight on the bus to Clevedon for their Bank Holiday Monday game with Somerset.

Again the Red Rose started well with the pace of Cross causing the Somerset top order problems and she struck in the first over to bowl Karla Rose for a duck.

Cross went on to claim 1-8 from five excellent overs and she received excellent back up from the rest of the attack as only Sophie Luff managed double figures.

Luff hit a patient 35 before she fell to Megan Fairclough, who claimed 4-24 from seven overs. Doshi, Brown and Patel were the other wicket-takers for Lancashire as they knocked Somerset over for just 103 in 31 overs.

Once again Lamb stepped up to the plate and made 62 not out, while Laura Marshall made 32 out of an opening stand of 84.

Threlkeld fell for a duck but Brown joined Lamb in the middle and steered Lancashire to an eight wicket win inside 25 overs.

Lancashire are next in County Championship action in a double header over the Spring Bank Holiday when they travel to Worcester on Sunday, May 26, before heading to Durham City CC for the game with Durham a day later.

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