Doncaster Town women’s team is born

Yusuk Gokalp, of Tipsy with Doncaster Town Ladies Cricket Club coach Nick Johnson and players Karen (l) and Ali Brocklebank-Lambert. Picture: Andrew Roe

Yusuk Gokalp, of Tipsy with Doncaster Town Ladies Cricket Club coach Nick Johnson and players Karen (l) and Ali Brocklebank-Lambert. Picture: Andrew Roe

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What started out as a suggestion of how to fill time between hockey seasons will this weekend come to fruition.

Doncaster Town Ladies Cricket Club are all set for their first ever game this Sunday, less than a year after the idea for the club was born.

“One of the girls from the hockey club was sat watching the men’s cricket and just said let’s start a women’s team,” player Karen Brocklebank-Lambert explained.

“It all came from that. She worked with Nick Morley at Doncaster Town and they set it up from there.

“We got plenty of players wanting to play and it’s just escalated from there.

“The process of setting up to getting to the point of being ready to play a game has been really difficult but we’re there now.

“We can’t wait to get going.”

Town’s ladies outfit – based on Town Fields – travel to Lightcliffe Ladies in Halifax on Sunday for their competitive bow.

This summer they will compete in a four team mini league but on-field success is the bottom of the list of priorities for their first campaign.

The club will boast Doncaster-born former England ace Bev Nicholson in their ranks but most of the team have never played the game before.

And preparations have hardly been ideal due to the weather.

Coach Nick Johnson said: “We’ve only just got out on the pitch for fielding practice because the weather’s been freezing.

“It’s been frustrating for me and the lasses because we wanted to be a bit further along.

“The majority of the team haven’t played before so it’s about getting them up to speed.

“We’re very fortunate to have Bev Nicholson on board and she’s agreed to play four of the six games over the summer.

“That bit of experience will be a massive help to us.

“But the main goal this year is to enjoy ourselves and learn the game.”

They may be relatively inexperienced but there are already ambitious plans for the future of the club.

Brocklebank-Lambert said: “We’d love to get to the stage where we have a second team and at least one youth team.

“We want to promote this to younger players and get them coming through.

“It works so well at the hockey clubs where you’ve got young players coming through all the time into the senior teams and we want it to be the same here.”

Town have secured sponsorship from Yusuf Gokalp who owns Tipsy on Nether Hall Road – soon to be renamed Yusuf’s – which has helped them purchase a kit for their matches.

The team’s first home game is on July 6 at Town Fields.