A Roses clash of sorts, given the history of these regional hubs as the homes of Yorkshire and Lancashire respectively. Northern Diamonds come into this encounter in better nick, sitting second in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and perhaps the best-equipped of the eight regions to cope with player losses to England selection.
Thunder, on the other hand, are an improving side under the captaincy of Alex Hartley, with the signing of Piepa Cleary an intelligent move to add experience with bat and ball. In a sense, Sarah Taylor will be taking on her former side, having represented Lancashire Thunder in the Kia Super League in the past. She is now playing under former international teammate Dani Hazell at Northern Diamonds.
Who should I watch out for?
Watch out for Sarah Taylor, quite simply. The former England wicketkeeper is back in the domestic game with Diamonds and - in the absence of Katherine Brunt, Nat Sciver and Lauren Winfield-Hill - she provides some much-valued experience.
Beth Langston and Sterre Kalis have also begun the season well for Diamonds, while Emma Lamb is the leading uncapped run-scorer in the Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
What's the team news?
England stars Lauren Winfield-Hill, Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver are absent for Northern Diamonds.
Kate Cross and Sophie Eccelstone will be missing from the Thunder side.
Keep up to date with the MetOffice’s rolling forecast for Headingley: Click here
How do I follow the match?
TV/stream: Northern Diamonds will offer live coverage of the match via their website: Click here
Radio: BBC Local Radio and the BBC Sport website will carry updates of the game.
Digital: The Cricketer will carry live scorecards and reports from every Women's Regional Competition match in 2021, as well as the latest breaking news from around the counties and exclusive features. Visit our Women's Regional Hub for more.
Going to the game?
All tickets must be purchased/booked in advance and mobile tickets will be issued. There will be no sales on the day. Early bird prices are £5 for adults, £1 for everyone else.
Click here to visit the Northern Diamonds box office.
By car: From the South leave the M1 at Junction 43 to take the M621 as far as Junction 2. From the M62 West leave at Junction 27 to take the M621 as far as Junction 2. From the M62 East leave at Junction29 to join the M1 Northbound to take the M621 as far as junction 2
At Junction 2 of the M621 follow the signs for Headingley stadium along the A643. These signs will lead you along the Leeds Inner Ring Road A58 to the A660 which is signposted to Skipton and Headingley Stadium. Signs along this road will indicate you have reached the Headingley area.
All routes into Leeds from Bradford, Keighley and other northern areas lead to the Leeds Outer Ring Road, the A6110 – A6120 – A63. Along the Outer Ring Road signposting to Headingley Stadium will lead you to the A660 Otley Road and from here southwards to the Headingley area.
Parking: Parking is available in Car Park E on St Michael’s Lane. Parking will be charged at £5 per car and can be booked in advanced by calling the ticket office on 03445043099, or on the day.
Bike racks are available at the ground and are to be left at the owner’s discretion.
By bus: The following services operate from the city centre towards Headingley.
Services 19 and 19A – buses every 15 minutes
City Centre stops:
Stand F7 on York Street opposite Leeds Bus Station
Full route: Moor Grange-Queenswood Drive-Headingley (Stadium)-Hyde Park-University-City Centre-York Road-Cross Gates-Swarcliffe-Whinmoor
By train: Headingley is served by three stations.
Headingley is around a 10-15 minute drive from Leeds City Station. A taxi should cost around £8-£10.
Headingley Station is on the Harrogate Line and is a 10-minute walk from the ground. Please note that the initial part of this walk is slightly uphill. Trains run half-hourly from Leeds Station and should take around 12 minutes.
Burley Park Station
Burley Park Station is also on the Harrogate Line and is a five minute walk from the ground. Trains run half hourly and should take around five minutes. If travelling from Leeds Station this is your recommended station to use.
Northern Diamonds look a very solid outfit, packed with England experience in Jenny Gunn, Sarah Taylor and Beth Langston. Having come so close to silverware last year, they will be eyeing up the Charlotte Edwards Cup this time around. Home win.
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