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'They will be better for this experience': Grayson reflects on Diamonds' KSL elimination

Yorkshire Diamonds can no longer qualify for Finals Day later this month with a group game remaining, against Loughborough Lightning at Emerald Headingley on Saturday evening (7pm)

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Yorkshire Diamonds are out of the Kia Super League

Yorkshire Diamonds coach Paul Grayson is taking the view that Rome wasn't built in a day after his side’s elimination from the Kia Super League.

The Diamonds can no longer qualify for Finals Day later this month with a group game remaining, against Loughborough Lightning at Emerald Headingley on Saturday evening (7pm).

The Diamonds have won two and lost six of nine fixtures so far, including the latest defeat being against Lancashire Thunder at Blackpool on Tuesday.

Unfortunately for Grayson and co, they have conceded the double to their arch-rivals from across the Pennines.

In three years of the KSL, the Diamonds have not yet reached Finals Day, with this Grayson’s second campaign in charge having replaced Rich Pyrah.

He believes a squad with more than half being new signings for 2018 have made the White Rose better, but insists success rarely comes overnight.

“I’m always a big believer that it takes three years to put a side together, and that’s the case in a lot of sports,” said the former Yorkshire allrounder and ex-Essex coach.

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Yorkshire have won two and lost six of their fixtures so far

“A lot of these girls will be back next year. We’ll work a bit harder with them over the winter and continue to make some progress. They will be better for this experience. We’ll keep the core group of the senior players, and we’ll try and give it a good go next year.

“The girls feel we should have won more matches given the cricket we’ve played. But the table doesn't lie. We’re second bottom for a reason. In patches, we’ve played better cricket than last year. It’s just those big passages of play that have hurt us having got into positive positions.

“We’ve definitely been more competitive, and we’ve also tried to develop younger players. Helen Fenby has played every game so far, and she’s done well. She’s going to be a bit inconsistent, but she’s bowled at some difficult stages in the power play. Thea Brookes has done well.

“The three overseas players would have liked to have done a bit more, but they’ve been fantastic around the group.”

Both the Diamonds' wins, against Southern Vipers and Surrey Stars, came at York’s Clifton Park, and Grayson continued: “We wanted to win more cricket matches, but one of the big things is that Mark Robinson has some better players to choose from with England.

“Some of the girls, maybe he’ll say ‘She’s done really well, she deserves to be in the England programme’. 

KIA SUPER LEAGUE TABLE

“That has to be the long-term plan.”

The Diamonds face already qualified Loughborough under lights on Saturday, and there will be changes. 

“I said to the girls ‘Those who haven't played at all will play’,” said Grayson. “Sophie Munro and Katie Thompson deserve to play.

“They’ve been around the group carrying the drinks and looking after the girls.”

Grayson will also assess England star Katherine Brunt’s fitness ahead, with the all-rounder recently admitting she is having to manage a long-standing back problem in the build-up to this winter’s World T20 in the Caribbean.

“I’ll sit down with Katherine and see,” he added. “There’s no reason why we should play Katherine if her back’s a little bit sore. I’m not going to put her through that. 

“The only thing she may do is play as a batter and not bowl. Katherine’s been outstanding and led from the front with the ball. Beth Langston has also bowled well the last two or three games.”

Report courtesy of the ECB Reporters Network

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