2024 RHFT Preview: Western Storm v The Blaze


Western Storm take on The Blaze in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy at Cheltenham College tomorrow (Wednesday July 10th).

This 50-over match will get underway at 10:30am.

This match is covered by Western Storm Membership.

Tickets for this match are still available.



You can keep up to date via the Western Storm website.

A live stream of the match will also be available.

In addition to this, a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted on this website.



Western Storm will be without England internationals Heather Knight, Dani Gibson and Lauren Filer.

A starting XI will be named from the following squad: Sophie Luff (c), Emma Corney, Fran Wilson, Claire Nicholas, Nat Wraith, Katie Jones, Alex Griffiths, Niamh Holland, Mollie Robbins, Gemma Lane, Amanda Jade Wellington, Chloe Skelton, Sophia Smale, Ellie Anderson, Lola Harris, Imogen Cooper and Emily Geach.


Ahead of the game, Western Storm Captain, Sophie Luff said: “We were disappointed to come out on the wrong side of the result against Diamonds at the weekend, but we haven’t had much time to dwell on Sunday’s loss. I feel like we did a lot of good things during the game so it’s about doing something similar tomorrow and hopefully we can come out on top in those critical moments. We just need to do the basics for a little bit longer and take our chances when they do come. We’re playing against really good players and creating chances against them.

“Every team in the competition is a good side and any team can win on a given day. I really believe that. The Blaze are coming into it off the back of a loss, so they’ll be looking to bounce back. They’ve got good players in good form but hopefully we can keep them quiet.

“We love playing at Cheltenham and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the festival there over the last few years. We’re really well supported there and the ground staff do a tremendous job. Given the weather that we’ve had over the last week, hats off to them for ensuring we got a 30-over game in on Sunday. Hopefully, we can get a full quota in tomorrow.”


Captain: Kirstie Gordon
Head Coach: Chris Guest
2023 finish: Runners-up
2023 highest run-scorer: Tammy Beaumont (317)
2023 highest wicket-taker: Grace Ballinger (18)

Key winter moves: The return of South Africa all-rounder Nadine de Klerk for a full season is a big boost. In just seven appearances in the competition last year, the 24-year-old took 13 wickets including a career-best 7-33 against Northern Diamonds.

The big question: After reaching two domestic finals but losing both in their debut season in 2023, Blaze will be keen to repeat the feat in this competition. Can they get there again and deliver a winning performance on the day?

Player to watch: The 19-year-old leg-spinner Josie Groves, who has already played in an Under-19 World Cup final and is part of the Trent Rockets squad in The Hundred, took 12 wickets at 20.50 in last year’s competition, including 3-39 in the final.

Final thought: Although they faltered in the second half of last year’s 50-overs campaign, The Blaze delivered some stand-out performances along the way, the highlight perhaps an away win against Southern Vipers when none of their three England players were available. They have a squad with a good depth of talent but maintaining momentum for the full season will be key.


If you are attending the match please click the link below for further matchday information.



Western Storm’s next match is on Friday July 12th when we take on Central Sparks at New Road, Worcester in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Tickets for this match are still available.