Meghan Keogh, Anita McMaster and Megan Wilson all made their debut for Lancefield Black on Sunday against Darley, in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association's opening round for the Kookaburras Women's League.

By Tricia Mifsud

LANCEFIELD Cricket Club has become the first club in Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s Kookaburra Women’s League to field two senior sides, supporting more women in the area to take on a sport.

Lancefield women’s cricket coordinator and captain Emily Consiglio said other than typical female sports like netball, women from Lancefield and surrounds had never had the ability to pathway into other sports.

“With the cricket, we have really pushed the social aspect of it and made it really inviting for girls and women of all ages,” she said.

“There’s a lot the sport can offer, especially for women who have played before in juniors, and have now thought to give it a crack again at senior level.

“We had a practice match on October 6, and we had some newbies who had never played before but they walked off the ground and had a great time and that’s what it’s all about.”

Consiglio said despite the uncertainty of not knowing whether people would want to be back out and about playing sport after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, or would be reluctant to return, the club has been really lucky to be able to fill two senior teams; Lancefield Yellow and Lancefield Black.

The second senior side has mostly been made up of junior players stepping up into the older division.

“A lot of the second team has come from pushing the juniors up and that’s what it’s always been about having that pathway set up after juniors and really setting that foundation for older girls and young women to be able to continue their cricket locally with people they have grown up playing with,” she said.

From there, the club put a further call out to the community, asking women of any ability to attend training and see what cricket was all about.

Consiglio noticed a lot of the girls were worried about their skills, particularly bowling, but offered training and mentoring to the players.

“When it comes to bowling, there’s not a lot of sports that have that sort of action and that’s where we find the new girls stress about how they’re going to go with that, but we have two coaches who know how to break things down and make it easier to put the worries behind the girls,” she said.

“We get around the new girls especially and make sure they feel welcome and an important part of the team.

“Another thing we do is pair an experienced player with someone who has less experience and offer a bit of a mentorship between the pair, which helps the girls gain confidence and further refine their skills.”

It isn’t too late to sign up for Lancefield’s women’s cricket teams, and anyone interested, or who would like to find out more are asked to contact Consiglio on 0455 933 864 or email the club at lancefieldcc@gmail.com.

In the weekend’s opening round, Lancefield Black defeated Darley, while Lancefield Yellow had a bye.

The two Lancefield sides will come up against each other in round two on Sunday, at Lancefield Recreational Oval.

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