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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Dubai dream for Ulverston cricketer Laura

CRICKET ace Laura Marshall is set for a sporting trip of a lifetime.

The 18-year-old from Ulverston will spend eight days hitting balls to the boundary in Dubai when the Lancashire Under-19 Girls Emerging Players squad head to United Arab Emirates.

The attacking batter joined Lancashire at the start of the season, having previously played for Cumbria.

Marshall, who also plays North Lancs and Cumbria League cricket for Lindal Moor second team, said: “The trip to Dubai is not until February next year but I’m already looking forward to it.

“I’ve never played cricket abroad, so it will be a new experience for me.

“We will play day and night matches in a tournament out there against other county sides and teams from countries including UAE and The Netherlands.

“We have also started raising money for the trip, doing things like car washes and bag packing in shops.”

A talented cricketer and footballer, Marshall played both sports competitively during her school years at Ulverston Victoria High School.

In fact, so prolific was the striker in front of goal for Dalton Girls that Blackburn Rovers snapped her up for their academy.

Marshall left the Ewood Park club aged 15, and since then football has since taken a backseat to cricket.

Now studying an extended diploma level three in sport at Lancaster and Morecambe College, her focus is on shining for Lancashire and making it into the England women’s development squad for a second year running.

“I signed for Lancashire this season having played for Cumbria since I was 11-years-old,” said Marshall, who, although primarily a batter, also bowls seam.

“I wanted to challenge myself at a higher level and it’s great been part of the women’s squad at Lancashire.

“In the winter we netted at Old Trafford. At the moment, I go down on Mondays and we train at different club grounds.”

In total, the Lancashire Cricket Board have selected 14 players for the tour to Dubai.

Women and Girls Development Officer Jen Laycock said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the girls to play competitive cricket outside the season in excellent surroundings.

“It will allow the girls to see where they are up to in development stages before the following season starts.”

l All Saturday’s cricket in both the North Lancs and Northern Leagues was abandoned because of the miserable wet weather.

Not a ball was bowled across the three divisions of the North Lancs League set up.

Two matches did start in the Northern League but a only a total of 28 overs was managed.

Barrow’s Northern League Twenty20 group stage opener against Netherfield at Ernest Pass on Friday was also washed out.

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