A TALENTED teenage cricketer from Alton has batted her way to a prestigious award.

Gemma Porter has picked up one of only five Cricket World Rigby Taylor 100 Club Awards, having scored an unbeaten ton against Fernhurst in the spring – becoming the first female to score a century in the I’Anson League.

She won a new GM cricket bat while the club picked up £350 of grass seed/fertiliser vouchers.

Martin Green, coach of Alton Ladies and the fourth XI captain, said: “Alton has always tried to include ladies and girls in their teams where appropriate. As a club we are blessed with a number of county-standard girls across the age groups and we are very proud of them all.”

Gemma, 16, is one of four Alton girls who represent Hampshire in the under-17 age group. She also plays in the Young Vipers team, while Alton also has girls in the county set up at the under-15 and under-13 age groups.

“Over the past three seasons Gemma has regularly played in Alton’s fourth XI in the I’Anson League, often opening the batting. The I’Anson have always encouraged ladies to play open cricket and are hoping to start a ladies’ league next season on Sundays.

“Gemma has been a colt at the club since the age of seven and is someone who works very hard at her game, always looking to learn and improve from those around her.

“She has previously scored half-centuries for the men’s team, so a century was always going to happen, it was just a matter of time, opportunity and application. Fernhurst were the unlucky team that weekend, although we are sure there will be many more to come,” added Martin.

Alastair Symondson, of rugby world, said: “We are delighted to be running these awards with our sponsors Rigby Taylor.

“When we launched the awards, earlier in the year, we wanted to recognise the special moments with the bat and it was an outstanding achievement by Gemma; but we also wanted to recognise, in some small way, the hardwork that groundcare individuals do in preparing the surfaces that they play on as well.”

Pictured with Gemma Porter and Alastair Symondson are Alistair Hayes (south region Director for Rigby Taylor), Richard Myers (Alton Cricket Club director), Julian Ballinger (Alton Cricket Club chairman), Martin Whapshott (groundsman) and Martin Green (fourth XI captain).