The sixth instalment of Cricket North's women's competition gets under way on Friday night with Launceston, Mowbray and Riverside facing an uphill battle to stop South Launceston securing a fifth-straight title.
- LAST SEASON: Premier
- CO-CAPTAINS: Caitlyn Webster and Belinda Wegman
- INS: Narine Maurangi (Adelaide), Allana Whyte (Riverside)
- OUTS: Chelsea Ryan (year off)
WEGMAN SAYS: We're obviously looking to defend our premiership, as everyone would be.
The other teams have improved heaps with their up-and-coming young players, it's good that everyone gives everyone a bit of a run for their money now. I always tell the girls 'anyone can get beat', so I don't ever go in thinking we're going to win because everyone can have a bad day. The competition's getting better so hopefully it'll keep continuing that way.
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Meg Radford played with the under-18 boys last year and she's also looking at playing with the Raiders so she improves every year, she loves her cricket as most of the girls do. Also Amy Duggan improved last year heaps and she'll continue to do so as she keeps training and working hard at what she's doing. Then obviously Narine is fresh so getting another left-hand batter and bowler is handy. She's an all-round player, she's played state in Adelaide so I think she knows her stuff a bit. She's very knowledgeable.
We have a couple of juniors coming up from our under-17s girls so they'll come through as well.
- LAST SEASON: Runner-up
- CO-CAPTAINS: Lynn Hendley and Stacey Norton-Smith
- INS: Georgie Nicolson (Mowbray), Rebekah Illingworth (Mowbray), Mary Broadhurst (Trevallyn)
- OUTS: Cassie Walker (TCL)
HENDLEY SAYS: We have a few new players - Mary Broadhurst has come from TCL and is a good all-rounder and a couple of our young players who are 16 including Charlotte Layton and Anna Janssen (have improved). Anna's back after an injury and she has markedly improved and has been bowling at practice - she's quite on fire really. Charlotte Layton, who's been training with the Raiders, she's improved and got stronger. She's improved in her bowling but what's going to be beneficial for us is her batting.
We've got a great depth all the way through. In previous years we've been solid to the first five in our batting but now we're solid all the way through and we've still got those top players like Rhianne Hack and Victoria Geale.
We've got a hard game to start with - South - to set us where we need to be for the rest of the year. I think South will dominate but we beat them in one game last year and we believe we can get closer to them this year. We certainly would be hoping to finish second and have a few games close, if not repeat what we did last year. We certainly have the team to do that and the potential to develop the team because of the young ones improving.
- LAST SEASON: Third
- CAPTAIN-COACH: Dana Lester
- INS: Phoebe Atkins (Evandale), Kirra Marsden (South Launceston)
- OUTS: Georgie Nicolson (Launceston), Rebekah Illingworth (Launceston)
LESTER SAYS: Last year we were competitive in all games which was really positive to see, but this year we're probably looking to transition those positive competitive games into more quality wins. We still have a very young group with about an average age of 16. The oldest is 22 and the youngest is 14 so we've got a really good core group within that 14 to 22-year-old age range and hopefully they'll continue to develop as a team.
Cassie Blair is probably our standout bowler at the moment. She's also been training with the Raiders which has helped her develop her batting and she'll definitely bat up a lot higher in our order this year. Her attack and ability to hit runs quickly has improved so much over the off-season - I've clearly seen her step up in her approach from last season to this year.
We're looking to incorporate an under-14s side into the new Cricket North under-14s competition so we've already got a bunch of girls interested in that, which starts in a bit under a month's time. We're really looking this year to focus on any girls aged 10 and up to fill our gap that we've got at the minute. We've got a lot of 14, 15, 16-year-olds but we're looking to grab that next pool of younger girls to come up and develop.
- LAST SEASON: Fourth
- COACH: Maddison Hill
- CAPTAIN: Katie Broad
- OUTS: Allana Whyte (South Launceston)
HILL SAYS: There's a bunch of new girls coming to play this season so I'm really excited to see how they go. We're not hoping to win every game but I was just saying that [it's about] their personal bests - if I made 12 one week I'd be playing it as a grand final to make 13 the next week - so just small goals for us this year as a new team. I don't necessarily think we'll be grand final material this year but as a new side we're looking for a bit of fun and team spirit.
Katie Broad and Elyse Page (have performed in pre-season) and Tayla Martin - she's really impressed me this year. She's turned up to every training, she's committed, she's messaging me making sure we have a team. During training she's always asking for help with certain things so she's stood out so far with her dedication and attitude. And Tayla Buchanan, she came in pretty late last season and she was taking wickets every game so I'm looking forward to seeing her this year.
We are looking for a couple more girls to come along - training is outside at the Riverside Cricket Club from 6-7.30pm every Tuesday and Thursday.
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