From the first match, against Western, ACT Southern Districts were in champion form – Claire Levings (59*) and Caitlin Galeano (52) set up a big win with an opening stand of 131 before Grace Kulchlmayr stifled Western’s run rate with 2/4 off 3 overs.
The team showed great resilience in round 2, beating Greater Illawarra despite recording four ducks in the batting innings. Levings showed her all round value with 4/11 off just 2 overs, and Grace Lyons steered the run chase with an important 42. They then made it to the final after successfully chasing 88 against Riverina – a tricky total in a low-scoring match, set up by Jess Galeano’s 3/8 off two overs.
In the Grand Final, Greater Illawarra opted to bat first but were restricted to just 74. All bowlers contributed to maintaining pressure and remarkably a quarter of the entire innings were maidens. Jess Galeano’s figures were typical of the whole team, taking 2 wickets for just a single run off her two overs.
Openers Caitlin Galeano and Claire Levings continued their exceptional form and showed there were no secrets in the pitch, breaking the back of the run chase with an opening stand of 55. Co-captain (with Jade Allen) and wicket-keeper Caitlin Galeano was there to see the side home, scoring 26* off just 27 balls. With the total chased in just 12.4 overs, the new champions left their coach Michael Minns beaming with pride.
“From where we were last year, having not won a game, to go undefeated and win the comp this year shows more than just growth – it shows desire, resilience and the work ethic of the players to become the best cricketers they can be,” said Minns.
“It’s also been really great for the players to train with the Abode Hotels ACT Meteors, and mix with them in the CDC Bash, just to see how they go about their training and pick up what they can. This result shows the value of that competition and how much it contributes to our development.”
It’s a sentiment shared by assistant coach and ACT Meteor, Zoe Cooke:
“It’s a great win for the group but credit also has to go to Minnsy, he has worked so hard through the pathways and he has developed a great culture around the group.”
“I think last years’ experience helped prepare the team for this year – especially considering many of the group are younger than 19. Grace Lyons, for example, is only 16 but she showed great maturity to make runs the way she did, and also showed off her wicket keeping skills.”
“Everyone contributed at different times and that’s always the most pleasing thing as a coach”
The tournament was brief but well-supported, and with the core of players eligible to stay together for several more years – along with the coaching group of Minns, Cooke and Kelly Rowlings (herself no stranger to podium success, having won the Glenda Hall shield with Weston Creek Molongolo Cricket Club this season) – the future of women’s cricket in Canberra have never looked stronger.
Congratulations to everyone involved from all of us here at Cricket ACT.
Comets – NSW Country
CDC Bash – Finals Bash – Lord’s Tavener’s Run the canteen
Scoreboard graphic – CDC
WNCL – QLD on 30 Jan – Official release