Northern Diamonds see off Western Storm in deserved Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy triumph

Northern Diamonds produced a clinical performance with bat and ball to defeat Western Storm by seven wickets in their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy clash at Emirates Riverside.

Northern Diamonds Linsey Smith celebrates after bowling out Western Storm's Natasha Wraith Picture by Will Palmer/SWpix.com

The Diamonds were on point with the ball as Linsey Smith produced career-best List A figures of 5-34 to dismiss the Storm for 183. Captain Sophie Luff top-scored for the visitors with a fine innings of 65, but their total was always going to be tough to defend.

Hollie Armitage led from the front in the Diamonds chase. The captain blasted a half-century from 53 balls, and was unbeaten at the end on 68 alongside Bess Heath to guide their side over the line with ease, earning their fourth victory in five games in the competition.

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After being inserted, the Storm made a solid start through Fi Morris, who scored a brisk 30. However, Langston was on point first to dismiss Georgia Hennessy before removing Morris.

Hollie Armitage of the Northern Diamonds acknowledges her half century against the Western Storm Picture by Will Palmer/SWpix.com

The visitors were able to settle into a rhythm with captain Sophie Luff and Alex Griffiths at the crease. The two players put fifty in just 46 balls to put the Diamonds under pressure, and the hundred was brought up at the end of the 18th over.

Smith earned her reward for a fine spell to remove Griffiths for 36. The Storm collapsed after Griffiths’ dismissal, falling from 109-2 to 112-6 in the space of three overs. Luff was defiant amid the clatter of wickets, scoring a half-century.

But Smith returned from the Finchale End to surge through the tail, removing Luff for 65 with the final wicket of the innings.

The Diamonds enjoyed a rapid start to their chase, although Hennessy prised out Winfield-Hill for 16. However, the home side were not deterred as the skipper Armitage and Sterre Kalis took the game away from the Storm to whittle down the total with ease.

Kalis and Leah Dobson were both dismissed by Stephanie Hutchins, but it was too little too late for the visitors.

Armitage completed a deserved half-century to allow the hosts to close in on victory. The Diamonds captain and Heath produced an unbeaten stand of 54 to deliver the comfortable victory.