Saturday, March 14, was a huge day for Narrabri cricket fans.
Not only were the Narrabri District Cricket Association’s first and second grade one day competition grand finals contested, but an enthralling women’s match took centre stage at Collins Park to begin the day.
Two teams of 12 ladies went head-to-head in a 12-over match played under modified rules.
Each over lasted 10 deliveries.
In the field every player bowled one over and took the wicketkeeper gloves for an over, and with the bat teammates batted in pairs, with each pair facing two full overs each.
Wickets resulted in the loss of a run rather than traditional dismissals.
The day started with a minute’s silence in memory of Narrabri’s Lee Baker who sadly lost her battle with cancer the day before the match.
Both teams also wore black armbands during the match to honour Lee.
Christina Watkins captained the pink team while the Aqua team was skippered by Michelle O’Connor, and it was Watkins who won the coin toss.
She chose to send the Aqua team into bat.
Team Aqua scored 84 runs from its 12 overs, then the Pink team also scored 84 runs as the match ended as a tie.
Highlights included Aqua team’s Nessa Rose smashing the game’s only six, and Pink team’s Carmel Harvey taking a brilliant catch from her own bowling to claim a memorable wicket.
Pink team captain Watkins was the organiser of the event.
She told The Courier that both teams had a blast and the players did not realise how enjoyable playing cricket was.
“I was really pleased, the day turned out great,” Watkins said.
“Firstly because of the amount of women who actually wanted to join in and play and also because it was just a whole heap of fun.
“It was all fun and games but neither side wanted to lose.
“All the ladies loved it they thought it was so much fun and actually nearly every single one of them said that they didn’t actually realise how much fun playing cricket was.
“We were a bit sad that we only played 12 overs, if we realised it was going to be that much fun we would have chucked in a couple of extra overs so we had more time on the field. Once it was over we were disappointed.”
Watkins said that match gave females a chance to enjoy a new sport, and that it would be a catalyst for a Friday night T20 competition to start up in the 2020-21 NDCA season.
“The game gave us the opportunity to play. Instead of sitting there watching our sons, partners and dads play we got to do it and I think that’s very important,” she said.
“A lot of sports are for men and our children, so often us women are behind the scenes, so this gives us not so much the spotlight but it gives us a go.
“Going forward a lot of the women want to get a little comp going.
“About four to six weeks which is plenty to get it started.
“We are hoping to get a T20 comp going, stand-alone just for women on a Friday night.
“We are aiming for four teams but even if we can only get two teams again that’s fine and we will still get to play.
“But so far we already have two teams, the majority of the women who played in the game are wanting to come back and play in the T20 comp.”To order photos from this page click here