A HYDE schoolgirl is beating men at their own game by taking wickets on the cricket pitch.
And Kathryn Axon admits seeing reactions when she gets them out gives her added confidence.
The 15-year-old is playing for Hyde Cricket Club’s fourth team against all opponents, pretty much entirely male.
But she is not written off, especially when the right arm seam bowler sees players depart after getting them out.
In fact, she has been encouraged by the reaction of the people watching her.
Kathryn, who has already taken a wicket against Bredbury St Mark’s, said: “While I have been playing men’s cricket, I have not experienced any negative comments made about me being the only girl on the team.
“In fact, everyone has been very supportive.
“At one game, a fielder hit me with the ball while I was running, and all the spectators booed at him.
“And taking wickets against anybody feels great but when it is a man stood there confused, it gives me an extra boost in confidence to get another.”
Kathryn, a Year 10 pupil at Alder Community High School, got into the sport after watching her brother play and practising with him in the garden of her Hyde home.
She also turns out for her school whenever they have a match, but the sport does not feature in the girls’ curriculum.
However, turning out for the Werneth Low club’s side has been a boost, albeit a surprise one.
Kathryn added: “My brother encouraged me to take up the sport and whenever I am struggling, he gives me tips which are a massive help to me and have really helped improve my game.
“And playing club cricket is vital.
“I was a bit surprised when captain Lee Brown and vice-captain Tom Rothwell asked me to play on Hyde’s fourth team.
“I thought I would just be filling in because they were short, but I was made very welcome and became a regular member of the team.”
Kathryn is part of Cheshire’s Under-15 girls’ squad and several of her team-mates play for senior ladies’ teams at their respective clubs.
How many of them take on the men like she does, though, is not known to her.