“We chucked everything at them, but we just couldn’t break through.”
That was Jenny Gunn’s assessment following a narrow defeat to Southern Vipers in today’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final at Northampton’s Wantage Road.
The Vipers got home by three wickets with two balls to spare, chasing 184, to defend the trophy they won last September.
This was a final which swung back and forth and was ultimately built around two batting recoveries. The Diamonds recovered to 183 all out from 116-8 before the Vipers fell to 109-7 before getting home in a thrilling finish.
Player of the match Emily Windsor, who described the game as a great advert for women’s cricket, finished unbeaten on 47 off 97 balls, while Tara Norris finished with 40 off 44.
The eighth-wicket pair shared an unbroken 78, with Gunn saying with frustration: “We just needed one more wicket. But they are allowed to play well. That’s cricket.
“We gave it our all, and that’s all you can ask for.
“We don’t like losing, but credit to them for getting a 75-run partnership at the end to win the game.”
The first half of the game saw Ami Campbell’s 60 lead a superb recovery for the Diamonds, with the help of Katie Levick and Rachel Slater.
“It just shows what depth we have at the end, with Ami, Lev and Rachel fighting for every runs and give us something to bowl at,” continued Gunn, who reported a slow and low pitch.
“They bowled well, and we didn’t bat well at times. We let them in really.
“Today wasn’t the best batting performance, but throughout the competition seven different people have got fifties for us. Not many teams will be doing that.
“There are so many different people contributing, and that’s the sign of a good side.
“We’ll keep pushing and striving to be better.”
Clearly disappointment, of course. But there are huge positives to take for the Diamonds, as Gunn alluded to.
They have reached each of the three regional finals since last September without yet being able to celebrate a trophy.
That will come!
“We’ve done really well,” added the England legend.
“The Vipers are a very strong side. You look at Georgia Elwiss and Maia Bouchier, they are two current England players. We don’t have any of them.
“We’re definitely excited at what’s to come next year. Hopefully we can really kick on and win one of these finals.”