The somewhat truncated Women’s Sports Column 18 – 24 June

laura 1I wasn’t going to write a column today. I worked through the night at an EU Referendum count and thought I would be too shattered to write. Now I’m not only shattered, but thoroughly disheartened at the course the UK has decided to take.

But putting that aside (not quite sure how), I was pleased this morning to receive another fantastic sailing update from Abby Ehler (see below) and this has encouraged me to make a few scribbles of my own, if only to remind myself that there is still some good stuff going on out there. So here it is, short and sweet. No “And finally” this week, as I think the start of this post fulfils the criteria this time round.

Stories from football, cricket, tennis, hockey and sailing:

The FAWSL resumes this weekend after the international/mid-season break. I hope you can all remember where we were, but if not, here’s a quick re-cap:

Manchester City are top of FAWSL1 having won six of their first seven matches and having drawn their last match at Liverpool 0-0. Chelsea are hot on their heels with 15 points from six games. At the bottom it’s Doncaster Rovers Belles, who are yet to pick up a point this season, although they have only played three games.

This week’s Division 1 fixtures are:

Saturday 25 June

Arsenal Ladies FC v Sunderland AFC Ladies 2pm

Sunday 26 June

Manchester City Women v Liverpool Ladies 2pm

Notts County Ladies FC v Doncaster Rovers Belles 2pm

Wednesday 29 June

Sunderland AFC Ladies v Chelsea Ladies FC 7.30pm

Birmingham City Ladies v Arsenal Ladies 7.45pm
Doncaster Rovers Belles have also announced their new manager this week. It is Emma Coates, former first team coach. There has been some mutterings about the timing of the news as it seems that former manager, Glen Harris, was sacked up to two weeks ago, but the news wasn’t made public. The club says this is due to some backroom re-organisation, but there have been complaints that Harris was treated badly over the sacking. We’ll have to see how the new boardroom and management appointments work out.

The Deaf World Cup started this week in Capaccio-Agropoli, Italy. Britain’s women played Poland on 22 June. They drew 2-2.

Tonight (24 June) they play hosts Italy, then USA on 26 June, Turkey on 28 and Russia on 30 June.   The knockout stage/play-offs begin on 1 July.


A new era for English women’s cricket began this week with the first post-Edwards/Greenway internationals against Pakistan.

And England have made a storming start. After a disappointing start with no play at Grace Road on Monday (I was there), the reserve day came into play (I couldn’t be there) and England dominated from the start. Sorry, no in-depth report, but the scores were as follows:

Pakistan batted first and made 165 all out from 45.4 overs. This was actually their best score against England. Ameen scored 52 and new captain, Heather Knight, took an impressive 5/26.

England made light work of the reply, however, reaching their target of 166 for just three wickets in 31.5 overs. Tammy Beaumont looked in fantastic form with a career-best 70 and Knight weighed in with 50 not out and England won by seven wickets. Unsurprisingly, Knight was Player of the Match.

The second game, at Worcester on 22 June was even more one-sided. Records fell as England posted a massive 378/5, their record ODI total. The innings contained 39 fours and 11 sixes with 132 coming off the last 10 overs.

Openers Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont scored 123 and 104 respectively and further down the order Nat Sciver scored a huge 80 off 30 balls.

Although Pakistan, bettered their highest score again, it was only by one run as they made 166 all out in 47.4 overs with Bismah Maroof taking 61 and vice-captain Anya Shrubsole took 4/19. England won by 212 runs. The Player of the Match award was shared between Beaumont and Winfield.

The third ODI takes place at Taunton on 25 June. It is live on Sky.


The first round of the Wimbledon draw has been made.

British number one Johanna Konta faces Monica Puig from Puerto Rico.

Heather Watson has drawn Annika Beck and Laura Robson has a tough task against Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber.

Tara Moore plays Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium, while Katie Swan faces the fearsome Timea Baos of Hungary, ranked 45 in the world.


The Hockey Champions Trophy is taking place in London this week. After Great Britain’s excellent recent series against Netherlands, they went into the tournament full of confidence. However, things have not turned out as they would have liked.

They started well with a 2-2 draw against Argentina in their first match and then lost 2-0 to 2012 Olympic champions, Netherlands.

They suffered a scond defeat, this time to New Zealand on Tuesday 1-0. To cap it all they lost again on Thursday, this time 2-0 to USA.

GB are now highly unlikely to take a medal of any colour.


Sailing update from Abby Ehler

Dee Caffari and Libby Greenhalgh recently competed in the Three Peaks Yacht Race.  This Race is unlike any other yacht race, it is so much more than a yacht race, in total, the team of five must sail 389 miles, climb 11.176ft, run 72 miles and cycle 36 miles.  The race is ranked amongst the 10 most difficult endurance races in the world, alongside the Marathon des Sables and the New Zealand Coast to Coast.  Dee was delighted to lead the Sail 4 Cancer Team this year in the 39th edition of the event but it was tough, much tougher than expected.  There is a reason the salty old seadogs do so well in this race, there are little tricks and secrets all along this coastline and experience pays dividends. Dee, despite her extreme experience was most definitely a rookie in this event, but loved it!  The aim for the team was to raise funds and awareness for the charity Sail 4 Cancer.  Dee is an ambassador for the charity, so to face a challenge for this great cause was a pleasure for her through all the discomfort the team would face, it is insignificant compared to what those families and individuals suffering from the effects of cancer experience.

An all-female team Team Concise/The Magenta Project competed in the Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race which started from Wicklow, Ireland on Saturday 18th June.  The team finished 3rd in their division, a great result for the team, battling fairly intense conditions that the Irish Sea had to offer.  Team Concise

This week in Hono Sweden, Team Magenta 32 hosted their first ever clinic for up and coming female sailors to experience sailing and racing in the high performance M32 catamaran, a much smaller scale but similar concept to the current America’s Cup boats. Team Magenta 32 are the only female team currently competing on the World Match Racing Tour and were keen to pass on their experiences to others to help promote and inspire girls at the high performance end of the sport.  “It’s been incredible to see the motivation of the sailors that came to try the M32” commented Kate Macgregor, former Olympian.  Following it’s success, The Magenta Project intend to pursue this initiative at varying location in the future.

In France, The “La Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro” race set off from Deauville on 19th June, the first leg of 350 miles cumulated in Cowes, IOW, before a further 3 legs finishing up in La Rochelle later this month.  The Race is a single handed race, the boats are 32 feet long and their skippers must learn to manage all aspects of the boat as there are no crew members to assist in sail changes or navigation.  The circuit has a huge following in France and this year is the first time the race has visited an English port.  Five female skippers are competing this year, including Britain’s Mary Rook, who is part of the UK’s Artemis Offshore Academy.  This is the first time in the history of the Race there have been so many female skippers so this marks a really positive shift in diversity in the fleet of Le Figaro. These women are top-level sailors and are an inspiration to many.

No column next week as I’m away.  Will be back (hopefully, and all being well) on the 8 July.


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