Northern Diamonds v Central Sparks: Final opportunity to impress for Diamonds in Trophy

“I think it’s going to be a really good game.”

The Northern Diamonds' Katie Levick. Picture: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

The Northern Diamonds are raring to go ahead of Wednesday’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy semi-final eliminator against Central Sparks, says director of cricket James Carr.

The Diamonds and Sparks, second and third in the final group table, face off at Scarborough (10.30am) for the right to advance to Saturday’s final against 
Southern Vipers at Northampton.

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Captain Hollie Armitage’s side were unable to advance directly to that final when, on Saturday just gone, they lost their last group game against the Vipers at the Ageas Bowl by five wickets defending 257.

It was a clash between the top two sides in the group table, and the winner would advance to Wantage Road.

But, far from feeling glum about being forced into this clash with the Sparks, they are relishing the opportunity to reach their third straight final in the early stages of the regional era.

“The preference would have been to avoid this game, but the upside is that it’s another opportunity for someone to go and get five wickets or score a hundred,” said Carr.

“It can build momentum and leave us in a good place going into Saturday.

“Looking at the (Vipers) result, we narrowly lost with some key players missing.

“Jenny Gunn, Katie Levick and Alex MacDonald have pretty much been permanent fixtures for the whole season and were all missing through injury and availability.

“We took a lot out of that defeat.

“Adams and Elwiss had a good partnership, but I never felt they were away from us run-rate wise.

“It was always hovering around five and six an over. But they kept wickets in the tent. It was a well paced chase, but we always felt one mad over could win it.

“It was a good run out for the girls who played, and we can take a lot of positives both with ball and bat.”

The Diamonds were missing Katie Levick, Alex MacDonald and injured Jenny Gunn (calf) at the Ageas.

“Lev will be available on Wednesday,” said Carr.

“We might just have to manage Jen’s workload. She batted in the nets on Saturday, did her rehab work and even had a little bowl.”