Somerset Women completed their Vitality County T20 campaign at the weekend.
After finishing second in the Group, Sophie Luff’s side beat Wales in the semi-final before taking Birmingham Bears right to the wire in the final.
We spoke with Sophie earlier today at the Cooper Associates County Ground to get her reflections on the T20 season.
“Finishing second in the group was a great achievement for the girls,” she said. “To win the semi-final and then take Warwickshire so close in the final was really good and I couldn’t ask for more. They’ve all been incredible all season.
“We probably surpassed my expectations this summer if I’m honest. To get 140 against a very good Warwickshire side in the final and to have them really worried at 40 for four was great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and it just wasn’t our day. That’s just the way cricket goes sometimes.”
Sophie was full of praise for her young side.
“We’ve got a young squad, but they’ve played a lot of cricket and have a lot of experience,” she explained. “The likes of Lauren Filer really came into their own this year. Niamh Holland was also impressive. Although she’s still only 17 she was a real asset with the bat, with the ball and also in the field. There’s so many of them who have so much potential and it’s great to see them stepping up and putting in big performances as well.
“There are real opportunities now for girls to take the next step and make a career within the game. The fact that those opportunities exist is a real motivation. Performances for Somerset will ultimately get recognition at the next level, and it’s been great to see the likes of Niamh and Joleigh Roberts doing really well for Somerset week in, week out.
“The beauty of county cricket is that you get those relationships and that development area where you have the Academy girls playing with members of the Western Storm senior squad. They can draw on those experiences and hopefully they’ve then got the ambition to emulate those players.
“I remember making my debut for Somerset and we’ve had a couple of debutants this summer. That’s great to see. It’s all part of the journey and hopefully they come into the environment feeling welcomed. It’s great to see people embracing the opportunity to perform and put their name out there. There’s a great atmosphere within the group and everyone has given 100% effort again this year and that’s all I could have asked for at the start of the season.
Sophie was also quick to emphasise the important role that the coaches have played in the team’s success this summer. “Dave Roberts has been brilliant at the helm again this year. He does a fantastic job and people really want to play for him. We love his manner and the way he goes about things. He’s very calm and that’s really good for the new girls who come into the group. He ensures that it’s not overwhelming or intimidating. We also had Kieron Peters join us as Assistant Coach this summer. It was great for him to get that experience of women’s cricket and he’s been a great addition.”