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Girls shine at Country Week cricket

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

The Gisborne and District Cricket Association, GDCA, submitted junior female cricket teams at North Rivers Junior Country Week from January 2 to 5.

The GDCA entered two under 14 girls’ teams – white and green – with the under 14 white team winning the competition.

Green was able to finish its round-one match while other games were abandoned, losing to Bendigo 10/34 to 5/222.

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However, Green’s day two match was abandoned.

White had its first two games abandoned before play resumed January 4 against GDCA Green, winning 3/237 to 10/68.

Despite only playing one full match, White went on to the grand final to defeat Bendigo.

With a steadily climbing run rate including a 44-run partnership, White set Bendigo the task of chasing down their score of 10/105.

Ruby Shinn-Mahony was leading run-scorer with 29 while Megan Brundell made 18.

Impressive bowling and fielding efforts by White left Bendigo 10/98.

White’s Holly Sullivan scored impressive bowling figures with 3/9.

Under 17s

The GDCA also entered an under 17 girls’ team into the Northern Rivers Junior Country Week.

Unlike the under 14 competition, which played one-day matches, the under 17s played T20 matches kicking off the week with two games on Tuesday.

Playing Bendigo first, the GDCA girls lost 8/93 to 10/93 before the second game was abandoned.

On Thursday, the GDCA scored a redeeming win over Bendigo 2/62 to 7/61 before beating Goulburn Murray on Friday, 2/88 to 3/87.

Nikola Cox was leading run-scorer for the week making a total of 86 runs while Emma Niesson was a formidable bowler, taking eight wickets for the week including 4/12 in the first Bendigo game.

Bridget Stute also made the highest run total for the week with 35 in the side’s second game against Goulburn Murray.

GDCA president Simon Ovenden said it all went ‘well as always’.

“We always field pretty competitive teams and so it was quite smooth,” he said.

“The teams are always challenging and they acquitted themselves very well across the tournament, which was excellent.

“It sort of shines a light on the talent that’s available within the GDCA at that junior level.

“I think we’re always very competitive so that’s a credit to the clubs and the way they’re able to grow their junior programs at the individual clubs. It’s good to see.”

Although they had three girls teams participate in the divisions, Ovenden said female participation had stagnated slightly.

“We’re really encouraging clubs to get on board. We want to see clubs putting teams in and we want to see that happening. It’s something we’re working on,” he said.

“We really encourage all our clubs to make sure that they’re reflective of the community. We want to see clubs establish girls’ programs and transition that to senior women’s cricket.

“We are always calling on our clubs to try and do more in the junior girls’ space.”

Ovenden said while it was great to witness the impact of the Matildas soccer team on women’s sport last year, he hoped attention could be brought to female cricket.

“It’s really incumbent on us as an association but also the bigger organisation bodies like Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia to do more to encourage junior girls to play cricket and I think that’s a learning curve we all need to embrace and apply,” he said.

Ovenden acknowledged the coaches who dedicated their time across the various Junior Country Week programs and the parents, as well as clubs for promoting the GDCA representative programs within their clubs.

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