Sport

Mel's hell is nearing end

HITTING FORM: Ipswich product Mel Bulow gets on the front foot for Queensland.
HITTING FORM: Ipswich product Mel Bulow gets on the front foot for Queensland. Contributed

FOR seven years Mel Bulow has been driven by the need to make amends.

Amends for Queensland losing the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) final to NSW in 2006, with the game there for the taking.

With three wickets in hand Queensland needed just three runs to win the final ... but lost.

Ipswich product Bulow was one of those three wickets to fall.

"They've always been our nemesis," she said of NSW. "I still have nightmares about 2006."

Queensland have failed to reach a final since, invariably losing close matches they could have won, putting them out of finals reckoning.

This year they are winning the tight matches and finished the regular season second behind NSW.

"I think we are (winning the close matches) and I think that winning feeling is a bit contagious," Bulow said.

"Previously we would find ways to lose games from positions we should have won.

"Previously we would find ways to lose games from positions we should have won.

"But now we've got a lot of young girls, like Beth Mooney, Jemma Barsby and Jess Jonassen, who have won underage championships. They've come through with no scars which is good for us older players."

This year however the WNCL finals format has changed. Where previously a second-place finish would have put Queensland straight into the final, now there is a four-team semi-final series to contest.

Queensland will have to beat Victoria at Blacktown tomorrow to give Bulow the chance for revenge.

Bulow admitted she was "a little bit" dirty they'd changed the format this season.

"It's been six years since our last finals series and we did all the hard work this year," she said.

"We just have to accept it."

And make sure they beat Victoria tomorrow.

"We can go in confident because we beat them with a bonus point earlier in the season," Bulow said.

"We know what it takes to beat them."

Queensland has this summer lost just once in the 50-over competition, to NSW.

"We're right up there," Bulow said. "Last season we had a lot of younger players who have benefited from having two solid seasons behind them.

"That's really starting to show in their consistency."

After taking a break from the game two seasons ago, Bulow returned with the express goal of winning a WNCL title.

"When I came back I had a bit of a three-year plan in mind," the former Australian opener said.

"It's probably come 12 months earlier than expected."

But if Queensland goes on to claim the national title, it won't have come a minute too soon.

Mel Bulow

Australia

  • 2 Test matches
  • 19 ODIs
  • 2 T20s

Queensland

  • Leading all-time run scorer
  • Five times Queensland player of the year

Topics:  mel bulow women's national cricket league



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