GLOUCESTERSHIRE finished runners-up in the ECB U15 Women’s County Championship after losing to Yorkshire by 75 runs in the final.

ECB Women’s U15 County Championship Final

Gloucestershire U15 Girls v Yorkshire U15 Girls (at Lullington Park CC, Derbys)

Yorkshire U15 Girls 167-7

Gloucestershire U15 Girls 92 all out

A superb captain’s innings of 42 by Eve Alder (Cirencester CC) wasn’t enough to help her side chase down the 168 needed for victory as Glos were bowled out for 92.

Earlier wickets were shared around after Glos won the toss and elected to bowl.

Yorks rebuilt after losing early wickets with a 56-run partnership between Madeleine Walsh (37) and Rebecca Newark (46).

Naima Milhofer (Downend) had Walsh LBW with the score on 98 but Newark and Hannah Poulter (23) added 48 to help push their side towards a competitive total.

In reply Glos got off to a disastrous start as they collapsed to 12-4. Teresa Graves (3-14) was the main destroyer and she was ably assisted by Newark who took the other early wicket to fall.

Alder, of Kingshill School in Cirencester, single-handedly attempted to rescue the innings but despite a seventh-wicket partnership of 32 with Ceri Hopkins (4) Glos never really like getting back in the game.

Glos U15s had reached the final after topping their group and beating Essex by eight wickets in the semis.

Again Alder starred, this time with the ball.

Bowling first Glos dismissed their opponents for 126 thanks to 3-15 from Alder and 3-7 from Hopkins.

Alder’s opening spell saw Essex slip to 32-3. But they recovered with a 74-run partnership between Nancy Hebron (30) and Jessica Bird (34). Phoebe Beale (2-15) and Hopkins combined to skittle out the lower order and bowl Essex out for 126.

In reply Glos lost Ellie Wookey (5) and Danielle Gibson (13) but coasted to an eight-wicket win thanks to unbeaten scores of 40 from both opener Alice Hill and Emily Wilkins.

U15 manager John Harris said: “The U15s had a fantastic season. I am very proud of them and I think Gloucestershire should be too. They have gone into all their games with a professional attitude and it has been great to see their confidence grow throughout the season.

“Quite a few of the girls were part of the Emerging Players Programme during the winter and I think that you can see the investment the Gloucestershire Cricket Board has put into girls' cricket is really starting to pay off.”