A TALENTED 12-year-old is aiming high after she became the first female player in the history of Southend & EMT Cricket Club to take a league wicket.

On just her second appearance for the club’s fifth team on Saturday, Libby Mitchell took two wickets against Old Southendian & Southchurch in the Essex League Fourth XI Division One East encounter.

Libby, from Westcliff, ended with figures of 2-25 with one maiden from seven overs.

And although the Old Boys ran out five wicket winners, Libby said the wickets of opener James Hinds (19) and number three Finley Walters (zero) were a proud moment.

“I was a bit nervous beforehand but it was OK once I started playing,” said Libby, who attends the Eastwood Academy and is the only female member of the team.

“The other players were welcoming and I knew three of the boys so that helped.

“It was great to take two wickets as well. One was bowled and one caught by the wicketkeeper.

“I have always liked cricket and I play football, netball and enjoy athletics too. I just want to keep getting better now.”

Libby also competes for the Essex Girls team as well as the boys team at her school.

And mum Jody Harris said Libby was making great strides in the sport having initially been rejected by the county.

“She started playing for the under-11s and is now in her second season playing at this level,” said Jody.

“She had a trial for the county but didn’t get in but now plays for Essex Girls. She didn’t give up.

“After making the Essex team she was eligible to play for the men’s team and she hasn’t looked back.

“She trains with the under-13 boys and to do as well as she did at the weekend made us very proud.

“Libby did amazingly and deserved her wickets.

“We first noticed her love for the game at a girls tournament when she was at Darlinghurst Academy. She gave it a go and her teacher noticed she had a flair for it.

“We just hope she continues to enjoy her cricket.”

Southend & EMT are currently fifth in the standings and continue their season at third-placed Chelmsford on Saturday.