Match Preview: Essex Women v Kent Women





Essex Women are in action in the Battle of the Bridge T20 on Monday evening, as they travel to Canterbury to take on Kent.

Though officially a friendly fixture, there are undoubted bragging rights on the line between the two rivals, with Essex aiming to back up last year’s performance in the Battle of the Bridge that saw them win by three wickets at Chelmsford.

Kelly Castle’s side won two of their four completed matches in the Women’s County T20, with the fifth being rained off, and Monday’s match will be their final outing in the shortest format in 2023.

They come into tonight’s clash in good form, though, having won their two most recent games in the London Championship 50-over competition, including one against none other than Kent.

Squad Graphic

Megan Belt (c), Sydney Gorham, Megan Sturge, Grace Scrivens, Charlotte Pape, Darcey Carter, Alexa Stonehouse, Genevieve Jeer, Tilly Corteen-Coleman, Olivia Barnes, Jodie Hobson, Emily Barrett, Coco Streets, Alice Grant.

Captain: Megan Belt
2022 Women’s County T20 finish: 2nd in Group 6
2023 leading T20 run-scorer: Sarah Bryce (54)
2023 leading T20 wicket-taker: Kalea Moore (5)


Essex’s Cath Dalton has been in fine form with the bat in 2023, scoring 231 runs at 38.5 across her six all-format innings this summer.

The undoubted highlight was a sparkling century in a 30-run London Championship win over tonight’s opponents, though six days earlier she also amassed a fifty in a 48-run win over Surrey.

In addition, Grace Poole hit an unbeaten half-century in that latter clash, and she has also been the visitors’ top performer with the ball, taking ten wickets in four games, including 5/49 in the same Surrey match.

Prisha Bedi and Sally Chapman are close behind with nine and eight scalps, respectively, and could yet overtake Poole depending on the trio’s performances in Essex’s final two scheduled fixtures.

Meanwhile, Kent come into the clash having named neither of leading 2023 T20 run-scorer Sarah Bryce nor top wicket-taker Kalea Moore in their squad.

Both are currently playing in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for The Blaze and South East Stars, respectively, though Emily Barrett, who hit 74 just two days ago in a London Championship match against Sussex, is included.

Megan Sturge also hit 36 in the same competition in the defeat to Essex, while captain and namesake Megan Belt has four scalps in four 2023 outings, including a return of 2/23 from 10 overs in the Sussex game on Saturday.


The 2022 edition of the Battle of the Bridge was played at The Cloud County Ground, with hosts Essex prevailing by three wickets in their chase in thrilling fashion.

Put in, Kent made a solid start and had reached 62/1 by the halfway stage of their innings, before the introduction of Jasmine Westley changed proceedings dramatically.

Seamer Westley took two back-to-back wickets in her second over, the innings’13th, before going one better with a hat-trick in her next.

Coupled with a scalp for Bella Howarth, which came in between Westley’s one-woman destruction of Kent’s batting line-up, the visitors collapsed from 75/2 to 86/8 in the space of 18 balls.

Westley’s last over was a maiden, completing her figures of 4-1-12-5, before she took a catch on the leg side off spinner Emily Dack to wrap the Kent innings up, with the visitors having totalled 109 all out.

Essex Women
In response, Essex overcame two early wickets as Cath Dalton and Jess Bird put on 65 for the third wicket, during which the former reached a 43-ball half-century in the 14th over.

At 85-3 and requiring 25 from 30 balls, the visitors were on track, though Tilly Corteen-Coleman took two wickets in the 16th to check the progress being made, before Dack and Grace Poole took the score to 100.

That left seven to win from the last over, and even as Dack fell to Hannah Gorham from the first ball of it, Westley, alongside Howarth, ticked off the runs to bring the need down to two off the final ball before a dramatic finish.

Gorham bowled a wide to Howarth, tying the scores, but wicketkeeper Megan Sturge’s stumping attempt failed, as even with Westley halfway down the pitch, Howarth was still in her ground.

That left a run-out at the bowler’s end as Kent’s only option, but Sturge’s throw was wayward, enabling Howarth to sneak through, complete the bye, and return for an embrace with Westley to celebrate a memorable victory.