Girls setting benchmark

MID NORTH GIRLS: Jordan Ganley, Jacqui Couzner, Chloe Smith, Lucy Meyer and Molly Seppelt.
MID NORTH GIRLS: Jordan Ganley, Jacqui Couzner, Chloe Smith, Lucy Meyer and Molly Seppelt.

It’s been a huge year for women’s and girls cricket not just across Australia with the success of the WBBL and the Women’s Ashes, but the Mid North keeps setting benchmarks across South Australia.

The weekend saw eight Mid North Girls play for West Torrens in the SACA Women’s Premier Cricket Competition, across the A and B Grade. Adelaide Strikers squad members Ellie Falconer lead the charge in the A grade, who played a series of T20 matches in the Riverland.

She was joined by Clare Valley locals Matilda Maitland and Isabelle Bryksky who made their A Grade debuts.

At Henley Beach Chloe Smith (Watervale), Jordan Ganley (Wandearah, Port Pirie), Lucy Meyer (Brinkworth/Koolunga), Jacqui Couzner (Jamestown) and Molly Seppelt (Jamestown) teamed up in the B Grade to record a solid win over Port Adelaide.

Lucy Meyer was named player of the match for a blistering 45, Jacqui Couzner chipped in with an unbeaten score of 6, Molly Seppelt took 2 wickets whilst Jordan Ganley took 1 and Chloe Smith took 4 catches behind the stumps.

Mid North Junior Cricket President Scott Smith, recently recognised at the 2017/18 Spec Savers/Cricket Australia Community Cricket Champion for South Australia said “it’s terrific to see the Mid North region producing terrific young cricketers, particularly in only the second year of our girls program”.

He added “to have eight of the 22 players for the West Torrens club come from the Mid North is quite an achievement, it does show that we’ve managed to help build to a standard where the transition along the cricket pathway can be quite smooth.

Before we began our girls program there was a lot of fear of the unknown, but it’s been good to see the girls involved, alongside other country players from the Barossa and Yorke Peninsula as well as the city based players.”

It’s been a meteoric rise for female cricket in the region, with the highly successful club based four team Mid North Strikers Girls Cricket League now in its second season, which has complemented by the Schools based competition which was lead by Katie Liebelt, featuring a further thirty five teams.

Mid North Strikers Girls Cricket League Co-ordinator and SACA Game Development Committee member James Lang said “what this represents is that cricket is a very popular sport for girls nationally and it’s starting to move toward a first choice for more and more girls across Australia during the summer months. In the past there’s been unnecessary roadblocks which has meant a lot of girls have been lost from the game, but the steep rise in participation numbers across both the region, the state and nationally have shown how important the move from Cricket Australia to invest in girls cricket at a community level has been. In only two years, we now have a growing number of players who have moved from the community game to the representative level.”

He added “for the girls to be able to get a taste of the game at a higher level and for some of them to be able to play both alongside and against WBBL and Australian players in the A Grade is great. With state based female cricketers now able to become professional with the latest pay agreement with Cricket Australia, it’d be great to see as many Mid North girls as possible work their way through the pathway and become household names for the next group coming through. Let’s hope this helps us find the next Shelley Nitschke, Tegan McPharlin or Lauren Ebsary to showcase Mid North Cricket at the top level.”

This story Girls setting benchmark first appeared on The Flinders News.