It’s been a good week for Bready Women and their captain Alana Dalzell, who not only leapfrogged Fox Lodge to go top of the table by beating their closest rivals, but on a personal note, she was given one of the 12 full-time professional deals by Cricket Ireland.

In the game on Monday night, Bready edged out Fox Lodge, chasing 104 to win by seven wickets in the last over. Both innings followed similar patterns with Fox Lodge's Sarah Black (26) and Lucy Neely (24) sharing an opening stand of 74 before being pegged back by two wickets apiece for Tori Mitchell, Sophie Hamilton and Mansi Bhavsar.

The Bready innings also featured a strong opening stand as Lucy McGranaghan (41*) and Millie Spence (28) put on 70, and despite a few tense moments, the home side helped by quite a few extras got home with five balls to spare.

“It’s always a competitive match against Fox Lodge and this one was no different. but it was great to come out as the winners,” said Dalzell. “It was our biggest test so far this season and although we have a really young side, the match showed some great maturity from the girls with both bat and ball.

“Lucy McGranaghan has been a great addition to the team, and her innings was key for us alongside Millie Spence. Hopefully the win bodes well for the rest of the season, and we will definitely be eyeing up some silverware.”

Bready are also in the last four of the Women’s Senior Cup where they travel to Eglinton on June 23rd, while in the other tie, Fox Lodge take on Strabane in the all-Tyrone clash.

Dalzell’s full-time deal is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the 23 year-old, and hopefully will inspire the next generation coming through at not just her own club, but throughout the North-West region.

“I’m obviously delighted and honoured to have received a full-time contract,” said Alana, who has won ten caps since her debut in 2022. “This will allow me to work even harder at my game, but also spend more time outside of the nets to really focus on my strength and conditioning as well.

“I have been very fortunate throughout my years so far playing cricket to have gained such a great support system from my parents, my club Bready, and also the North West Cricket Union who have all helped me gain this opportunity.

“I must give a special mention to Davy Scanlon for helping me with all aspects of my game over the past 12 months, and now as I move forward into this exciting chapter.

“Growing up in cricket without any female role models, I feel privileged to hopefully show young girls that there are now so many opportunities to expand your career in sport.”