ST Pat’s White has been crowned the winner of Bathurst’s inaugural Thunder Girls Cricket League, downing The Scots School in the decider to ice an undefeated campaign.
A first for Bathurst this season, the all-girls competition featured six teams – St Pat’s Blue and White, All Saints’ College, The Scots School, Bathurst City and Bathurst Bushrangers - playing under modified rules such as an 18-metre pitch and all players being required to bowl at least two overs.
St Pat’s White coach Matt Chirgwin was pleased to see the strong response and how the players – most of the new to cricket – developed over the course of the competition.
“There were six teams in the comp, which I think is a first for New South Wales when it has started girls’ comps … it was pretty amazing,” he said.
“There was a girl [Bridget Ellis] from All Saints’ who got some unbelievable scores – she hit 150 not out or something like that – and one of the Scots girls hit an 80-odd not out and a couple of my girls hit 50 not out.
“There’s certainly a lot of talent there and the girls improved out of sight. In the beginning a lot of my girls had never picked up a ball, couldn’t catch, couldn’t bowl it on the pitch, but by the end they were catching and bowling everything at the stumps.
“It was really good as a coach to get that vast improvement from the kids.”
Each of the six sides played each other once then the top two – St Pat’s White and Scots – advanced to the decider.
They had met the previous week in the final round and it was a hard-fought affair, White chasing down the 126 runs it required for victory in the last over. That was Scots’ first defeat.
However, for the decider Scots was without one of their star performers in Belinda Kidd. The top order batter, who made 84 not out in her Thunder debut, broke her finger playing in the Bathurst District Junior Cricket Association’s under 14s competition.
“That meant they didn’t have as strong a team as they had the week before, otherwise I think it could’ve gone either way,” Chirgwin admitted.
After winning the toss and sending their rivals in to bat, White dismissed Scots for 69 – the first time they had bowled out a side. White then chased down that total in 11 overs.
“We had a fairly young side, a lot of our girls were in the 11-12 age group and we were playing sides from All Saints’ and Scots who had much older Year 10 girls and they were obviously more powerful,” Chirgwin said.
“But our young girls held their own and we did have a couple of older Year 8 girls from MacKillop – Amy Kreuzberger and Jenna McManus – and those two girls were pivotal for us to be competitive.”