Hi, my name is Cordelia Griffith, a 21-year old Undergraduate student athlete at Durham University. I am a cricketer, currently in my third year studying Law. Introduced to cricket at a young age, by my Dad who played professionally, I started playing competitively for my local cricket club at the age of 8. Since then I have represented the MCC, Essex Women, England Women’s Academy and the Surrey Stars and I am proud to add Durham University Women’s Cricket Club to that repertoire. With top class coaching and a great bunch of talented athletes, women’s cricket here at Durham has flourished in the last couple of years and I have been so proud and honoured to be a part of it. Hopefully this blog will give you a good insight into my experiences and the women’s cricket programme here at Durham, in the hope that one day you may also be a part of the Durham experience.
Excited, yet apprehensive. Even going into my third year here at Durham, I still feel these emotions. Perhaps even more so this year, with it being the final year of my undergraduate degree in Law, but also because I’m taking on a new role within the Durham University Women’s Cricket Club, as Club Captain this year. Having seen how dedicated my predecessor was to the club, and how hardworking and organised she was, I have high expectations to meet. But I am ready to embrace the challenge, and with women’s cricket becoming increasing popular and ever more prevalent, following the successes of the England Women and the Women’s Super League, I wanted to take women’s cricket here at Durham to the next level. Having been informed over summer that around five county cricketers were joining the club this year, on top of all the other talented cricketers we already have, and that we had a completely reformed training schedule, I was extremely excited to get back to Durham for our winter training programme to get underway.
As a club, whilst we highly value our experienced players, we welcome girls of all ability with open arms. I am a firm believer in encouraging girls to give cricket a go, to try something different and even have the opportunity to play for the University’s 2nd XI, even if they have never played before. At our taster session I was thrilled to see so many of the girls who signed up at Freshers’ Fair come down to Maiden Castle to get a taste of DUWCC. Soon enough we got into the swing of training three times a week, with a bit of fitness and a Pilates on the side; a tough workout but also great fun! With the weather getting colder and more bitter as each day passes, with the odd bit of snow now and again, we’re quite lucky that all our training is inside at the moment. Not that it’ll be too much warmer in mid-April when our season actually starts!
Despite cricket being a summer sport, alongside our winter training programme, we compete in a BUCs indoor tournament. For the last two years we have made it to finals day, but have unfortunately lost to Exeter in the semis, narrowly missing out on a place in the final. This year we are determined not to let this happen again! Having trained hard as a team for the first few weeks of term, I believed that we’d have a great chance of flying through the regional group stage to get to finals day. With some new additions to the team, I was, however, a little apprehensive seeing as we’d not actually played together as a team yet. We played extremely well in our first game against Newcastle putting on a score of 113, and bowling them out for 86. With the team morale high, we were very confident going into our second game against Sheffield, a notably strong indoor team. Sheffield put on a score of 114, but unfortunately we fell short by 19 runs. Despite the loss, we still had a chance to get to finals day, but our next four games against St Andrews, Edinburgh, Leeds and Leeds Beckett were a must win.
Over the next couple of weeks, we really started to bond and gel as a team, both at training and club social events. It was so great to see the team dynamic changing and the team really coming together. The girls were raring to go and I certainly felt that we were ready to dominate the second and third rounds of our indoor tournament. And we most certainly did that! We flew through these rounds winning every game with conviction, placing us second in our regional round and securing our place for finals day. I couldn’t have been prouder!
Stay tuned to hear what awaits DUWCC at finals day, hopefully it is a BUCs gold medal, but you’ll have to wait till next time to find out!