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Wicket maiden gets whole new meaning
CHLOE Wallwork bowled her way into the Bolton Association record books on Saturday as she helped Walshaw to a crushing victory over Golborne.
The 20-year-old Tottington student became the first female to play first-team cricket in the 125-year history of Lancashire’s oldest league.
And she more than justified her selection, taking four wickets as Walshaw romped to a 218-run win.
Unsuspecting Golborne players had no idea what to make of the young blonde as she raced in to bowl her outswingers. But they soon realised she was a force to be reckoned with.
“When everyone sees a girl coming out they have a bit of a laugh, but I’m used to that because I’ve always been the only girl in the team since I first started playing in the club’s juniors at seven or eight years old,” she said.
“When I’m bowling against them they either try to slog me or block me because they don’t want to get out to a girl.
“I’ve taken a lot of wickets playing for the second team but playing for the first team was a great experience, really exciting and a bit of a relief that I did okay because I’d asked if I could play.”
Chloe, who has twice toured South Africa with Lancashire’s women’s team, put her name forward at net practice last Tuesday when it became clear Walshaw would be missing a number of first-team regulars for the Golborne clash.
“At one point I got told I couldn’t play for the first team because girls weren’t allowed, but then I found out that was a load of nonsense, so I decided to ask if I could be in the team,” she added. “But I didn’t think I’d do quite as well as I did.”
Chloe’s figures – 4-24 from 11 overs, including four maidens – delighted coach Darren Foy, who has tipped her for more first-team action.
“She asked me if I’d give her a chance and I’m glad I did,” he said. “She’ll probably get a few more games on the strength of what she did on Saturday.
“I’d seen her in the nets before but never in match action and I was very impressed.
“She bowled well, she’s a good fielder and when she’s bowling she’s not scared of giving the fielders a bit of a rocketing.”
Chloe’s impressive debut stole Danny Hornby’s thunder somewhat.
He thrashed the Golborne attack with a blistering 155 as Walshaw hit 315-4 in their 48 overs, then took 6-48 as the shellshocked visitors were skittled for 97.
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