A century from Tammy Beaumont helped the Women's Academy team complete an unbeaten 2011 with a comfortable 85 run victory over Leeds Met at Lords to win the BUCS Championships.
Playing at the home of cricket, on one of the hottest days of the year, the scene was perfectly set for the BUCS final to commence.
Loughborough entered as favorites having beaten Leeds Met on both of their previous encounters this season. However, as last year’s final saw Leeds take the title away from Loughborough there was no predicating what could happen.
Batting first Loughborough played positively throughout their 50 overs to set a strong target setting Leeds 288 to win.
With two early wickets falling the partnership between Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont proved crucial to steady the innings and see the run-rate increase.
At the half-way point Loughborough were 141-2 with Winfield having just reached her half-century much to the approval of the lively Loughborough supporters who had travelled from all areas to support the team.
In the next over there was more celebration as Beaumont brought up her 50 in style. Unfortunately soon after this Winfield found herself caught on the boundary with a shot that most thought was heading well over the ropes for six.
Despite the fall of wickets Beaumont stayed strong and produced a true captains innings, showing her skill throughout with well timed shots continually finding the boundary whilst staying focused to make sure singles were still taken. Her hard worked paid off in the 38th over as she brought up her century to great applause from all round the nursery ground.
Tammy eventually left the crease in the 44th over having made a fantastic 114 and the score at 263-6.
The final six overs saw the girls work hard to take singles and help take their final score to 287-9.
After enjoying a taste of Lords tea (Salmon and potatoes or mushroom risotto) the girls took to the field.
Anna Swann made her presence known early on as she showed her class on the field not only restricting the runs but also taking wickets.
Aided by Sarah Sundaram and Tammy Beaumont Leeds found themselves 44-3 after just 11 overs with two wickets for Swann and one for Beaumont that came from a truly stunning catch from Helen Shipman.
After the early disruption to their batting order Leeds never really seemed to recover as they only managed to add 29 runs in the next 10 overs whilst still losing wickets.
Whilst Loughborough did experience some difficulties in the form of bowler Nicky Pymm having to leave the field and Sara Begg suffering a serious muscle injury, they remained active in the field at all times working hard to cut off any run opportunity.
Their hard work paid off as more excellent fielding saw Swann take a classy diving catch followed by more wickets from her own bowling that saw Leeds Met finish all out for 202.
After the heartbreak of loosing last year’s final the jubilation from the girls was evident as captain, Beaumont was quick to get her hands on the champagne to soak her teammates with.
It was an all-round classy performance from the Loughborough girls who richly deserved the title after an unblemished season.