Essex see off Sussex to triumph in Women’s London Championship


Sussex Women v Essex

Women’s London Championship
Brighton Aldridge Community Academy Ground, Falmer
Saturday 09 September 2023, 11:00am start

Tilly Callaghan and Katherine Speed played starring roles as Essex Women defeated Sussex to seal the 2023 Women’s London Championship title.

It was the first occasion on which Essex have topped the table in what was the third running of the five-team league tournament since its inception in 2021.

Read on for the details and a report of the day from Brighton.

Team News:

Sussex: Izzy Collis, Phoebe Wilkinson, Lucy Western, Chiara Green (c), Mollie Adams (wk), Emily Spooner, Daisy Gibb, Maya Champion, Indigo Gentry, Faye Mullins, Maya Taylor

Essex: Katherine Speed, Tilly Callaghan, Sally Chapman, Scarlett Hughes (wk), Grace Poole, Kelly Castle (c), Frankie Hughes, Prisha Bedi, Sophia Mitchell, Sophie Willson, Afra Rose Mohamed

Match Details:

Umpire: Nick Clarke
Scorer: Mel Willson
Toss: Essex won the toss and elected to field first
Result: Essex won by six wickets

Scorecard: View Here

London Championship Table:

London Championship table


Match Report:

Katherine Speed took four wickets before Tilly Callaghan hit an unbeaten 74 as Essex earned a victory over Sussex in Brighton that confirmed their status as winners of the 2023 London Championship.

Speed returned figures of 4/39 from 9.5 overs as the hosts were dismissed for 188 in 49.5 overs, before Callaghan’s 121-ball knock saw the Eagles complete a successful chase with more than nine overs to spare.

Lucy Western, who made 53, was the only Sharks batter to pass 30, with the next-best scores being made by Daisy Gibb and captain Chiara Green, who contributed 27 and 22, respectively.

It was a dominant visiting bowling display, though, and further scalps for Callaghan and Grace Poole, who both claimed identical figures of 2/18, saw Sussex fall short of seeing out their 50 overs.

Poole removed openers Izzy Collis and Phoebe Wilkinson early, and Callaghan saw off Green for her first scalp as the home side slipped to 55-3.


Western led a recovery, sharing stands of 30 for the fourth wicket with Mollie Adams and 48 for the sixth with Gibb, posting her fifty in 85 balls before being bowled by Afra Rose Mohamed.

From there, it fell to Speed to run through the tail, taking the final four wickets for just 31 runs and sewing up Sussex’s time in the middle by bowling Faye Mullins with what would have been the innings’ penultimate ball.

Callaghan then underpinned Essex’s reply, sharing in two separate half-century partnerships and receiving support from Poole, who crunched a swift 35 in just 22 balls, before captain Kelly Castle hit the winning runs.

She started confidently alongside Speed as the duo put on 56 for the first wicket in 15 overs prior to Emily Spooner pinning Speed lbw for 22.

Partnerships of 42 with Sally Chapman and 24 with Scarlett Hughes followed, before, alongside Poole, Callaghan brought up her half-century in 99 deliveries.

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She was especially strong through third and behind square, though also unfurled two off-drives for four, but even as she continued through the sixties, Poole was on a one-woman mission at the other end.

Six of her 22 deliveries were smashed to the fence, including one off Gibb that went all the way for six, and by the time she holed out to Western off Green, victory was almost secured.

Castle provided the final piece of the puzzle as she and Callaghan took Essex over the line, with the skipper driving her counterpart Green for four to finish with a flourish.

The five-team round-robin tournament was first played in 2021, and Kelly Castle’s Eagles are its third victors after Kent and Surrey won its first and second iterations, respectively.

Sussex are still to play Middlesex before the final table will be decided, but with Essex now a comfortable 25 points clear of second-placed Kent, and Sussex six further back, the destination of the trophy is already decided.