SHE might have missed out on the national title she so badly craved, but Bathurst cricket product Bec Cady did earn herself another Australian Country baggy green cap on Saturday.
At the conclusion of the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Geraldton, an Australian Country XI honours team was named.
On the back of her 148 runs at a strike rate of 124.4 – the best of any female player – as well as one catch, three stumpings and three run-outs from the seven Twenty 20 games she played, Cady was named in that team.
It was the second year in a row the NSW Country Bush Breakers representative had earned Australian Country XI honours.
On top of that, the wicket-keeper and opening batter ranked second in the female player of the tournament vote.
Both honours came as a surprise to Cady.
”To be honest I didn’t expect it no, I just thought a few girls had done something a little bit more special that I did,” she said.
“I came second overall in that player of the tournament thing as well.
“Obviously it was very unexpected, but I was very excited to get it and very humbled as well.”
Having placing third with the Bush Breakers 12 months ago – losing the semi-final on the final delivery of the match – Cady was determined to do better this time around.
The Bush Breakers finished their round games in third and met eventual victors South Australia Country in the semi-final.
With opener Brittany Perry in sublime form, South Australia batted first after winning the toss.
Perry – the tournament’s leading scorer – hit an unbeaten 74 off 69 deliveries to anchor the South Australian innings. They finished their 20 overs at 5-118.
In reply Cady and Naomi McDonald made a good start to the chase for the Bush Breakers, putting on 33 for the first wicket.
Matilda Lugg then joined Cady at the crease and the pair kept the scoreboard ticking over, the former St Pat’s Old Boys player hitting three boundaries.
Cady finally fell for 31 off 30 deliveries, hitting a return catch to rival bowler Kelly Armstrong.
She then watched on from the sidelines as the tense chase continued, but in the end the Bush Breakers fell nine runs short of victory and missed a spot in the decider.
“It came down to the wire. Unfortunately we didn’t get over the line, but I was proud of the girls, we did put in a lot of effort to get where we did,” Cady said.
“It was definitely disappointing to miss out, a lot of the girls were upset about it, but those things happen.
“It was very exciting cricket, just unfortunately it didn’t go our way.”
Still, Cady was happy with how she performed at the tournament and is hoping to build on that form when returning to club duties for Penrith in the the Sydney Women’s Cricket Competition.
“I felt really good at the crease, unfortunately I couldn’t go on to that big score, I had a couple of soft dismissals,” she said.
“It felt really good behind the stumps too. I did a bit of fielding too in cover which was good fun, it was good to drive the team from behind the stumps, but also drive the team from the field. It’s back to club cricket now.”