A WEEK OF EMOTIONS – The end of the domestic and start of the International season

Within a matter of 7 days the Lend Lease Breakers had played in 3 x T/20’s and 2 x 50 overs in 3 different states. We had tasted success four times, with only the one defeat.

The week began playing Tasmania down in Hobart for our last round of matches in the WNCL and WT20. After a couple of weeks off due to the Christmas and New Year period everyone was keen to dust off the cobwebs and try and get some valuable time in the middle prior to the finals.

The Breakers finished both competitions undefeated but with a short turn around before our first final there wasn’t much time to celebrate or recover. 48 hours at home and we were back on the plane heading down to Etihad stadium to try and obtain the elusive WT20 trophy. It was the first time that both teams had played there and, with the roof closed, I immediately had a strange eerie feeling about the place.

Out in the middle the surroundings seemed darker than expected, but what particularly struck me was that you could hear a pin drop! Normally in the background are a plethora of noises such as sirens, birds, planes etc, but not here!

For the third consecutive year our opposition was Victoria who won the toss and elected to bat. After some initial success with the ball, the Vic’s dug in with Jessica Cameron the chief destroyer. We fought back well but late in the innings they managed to find the boundary again to help them to post a score of 144.

After a quick 10 min change over we got off to a good start with Alyssa Healy (Midge) hitting a 6 off her first delivery. Unfortunately that was it for her and I was soon in working hard with Alex. We managed to form a small partnership, but an attempt by me to find the boundary wasn’t quite good enough at which point, Sarah Coyte, who already had been successful in the bowling innings came to the crease. Despite a good fighting partnership we went down by a tantalising 10 runs.

Of course I was disappointed with the loss but realised it was the nature of T20 cricket. With such a short turn around before our next match, we had 48 hours to get over this loss and focus on the 50 over final held at the SCG.

My initial feelings to our loss changed dramatically and by the time I got home at 11pm. I was so angry with our performance that I had to ring Sarah Aley for a debrief. A sleepless night didn’t help my mood, and by morning I was tired, dejected and knew that I had to face the office (CNSW) knowing that they all would have watched the game.

Thankfully there was an optional training session on the Friday, where I was able to blow off some steam at which point I began to look forward to the next day.

Saturday came around and under cloudy conditions and a grassy wicket we were sent in. We had a rocky start and things didn’t look that great when I walked to the crease with the score on 2/2. Rachel and I were able to put on a good partnership and as the wicket flattened out it was great to see Rachael unleash as she posted the highest individual score in a final of 156 runs to give us a great score of 310.

We all knew that the wicket was a road and that we would have to bowl well to win the match. For the first 25 overs the Vic’s were keeping with the required run rate and being a bowler it felt like even your good deliveries were finding the boundary.

A great catch from both Midge and Ellyse Perry swung the game into our favour and from then on we were able to apply the scoreboard pressure. Our fielding throughout the game was excellent with all chances that were given by our opposition taken. In the end we bowled them out in the 41st over with their final score 240.

It was a special to win our 7th WNCL in a row to create a new record but more importantly to do it in front of 40 odd past players. On the same day we played the WNCL final, Cricket NSW was recognising the past female players by presenting them a Baggy Blue, something that they never had a chance to wear.

An already memorable day for me was made so much more special by having these players, ones whom I had looked up to and were my heroes growing up, presented with the Baggy Blue.  To see one of these players, Lorna Thomas, who is 94, put on her Baggy Blue is something that I will never forget.

What a great way to finish the domestic season by winning the WNCL, seeing past players receive their Baggy Blue and sign the team song in a huge huddle of 50 players on the ground!

Stay tuned for the Rosebowl Series that kicks off tomorrow.

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