Catherine Dalton becomes first female to strike a century in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties competition

Catherine Dalton

Catherine Dalton - Credit: Archant

History was made in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship at the weekend, when Catherine Dalton became the first-ever female player to hit a century in the competition.

The 22-year-old struck a splendid 100 for Halstead 2nd XI, in a first-wicket partnership of 180 with mentor Ian Pont, as the Essex club defeated hosts Felixstowe by 37 runs in a Division Four match on Saturday.

The Two Counties League cannot recall the feat having been achieved before by a female and Dalton, who hit 15 fours in the innings, was delighted.

“There were definitely a few bumps in the road and the opening bowlers bowled at a decent speed on quite a green pitch,” said all-rounder Dalton, who is coached by Writtle-based Pont.

“They were getting the ball to swing about and I struggled early on, but once I got into it, I was hitting my straps.

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“I just kept batting away and I wasn’t really looking at how many runs I had scored.

“I just knew that if I could reset myself after every delivery, then I would eventually get there.

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“I scored my hundred in the 39th over so it was quite a quick century in that respect, and I got it with a quick single down leg-side.”

Dalton was out shortly after that, without adding to her score, but the damage had already been done, prompting messages of congratulations on Twitter from former cricketers such as Simon Jones and Alex Tudor shortly.

“It was a great feeling, the opposition came up and shook my hand as did my team-mates, a lot of whom have almost seen me grow up at the club,” added Dalton.

“This shows that women can play in men’s cricket and do quite well, and I think this is a stepping stone for me and shows how I have progressed.

“I have a burning ambition to play for my country, I think any female cricketer does, and it would be amazing to do that.”

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