Girl power thrives in cricket team
THE first ever all girls' team in Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association history progressed all the way to the grand final.
The Mount Crosby Thunderbolts under-13 level two team was to meet clubmates the Thunderstorm in the decider. Players did not take the field, however, the young women will not dwell on what may have been after a remarkably successful campaign.
Coach Brett Schmidt said his charges were particular excited by the prospect of duelling with their male counterparts.
He said while it was upsetting for them to miss the biggest game of their lives, they did very well to get there and finish second overall.
"If that's the worse thing to happen in the next six months we're going OK," he said.
Since pools split after Christmas the Thunderbolts had been on an irresistible charge, dropping just one game as they stuck it to the mostly-male competition.
The talented youngsters cannot get enough of the game and they have gone forward in leaps and bounds.
Reflecting on the run, the mentor who witnessed their amazing development said it was a great achievement.
"It is a good bunch of girls," Schmidt said.
"Some have been playing together for three or four years and a few were in their first year, and it just clicked after Christmas. The core group of girls has older brothers that play. They just thought it was better playing cricket than watching and the more you play, the better you get."
Samantha Bremner, Laura Brown, Celia Schmidt, Isabella Biddle and Phoebe Dyer were among the team's greatest improvers.
Season highlights included Biddle's 48 not out and Bremner's incredible 4-0 bowling seamers. Having run out of overs and narrowly missing the half-ton in her first year with bat in hand, Schmidt said Biddle would be hellbent on securing the milestone next season. Fielding was typically miserly and teamwork was another positive throughout. What most impressed their taskmaster, however, was the enthusiasm and desire to learn and be better.
With several players to go up an age group, the Thunder will aim to field 13s and 15s girls in a bid to retain the majority.
Schmidt said it was hoped their would eventually be enough girls' teams to hold their own local competition though he conceded that was some way off.
He said he expected a number of his Thunderbolts to link with the Ipswich Logan Hornets in seasons ahead.
"I think that's the clear pathway," he said.
"The future of girls cricket looks bright. It is great to have women playing the game to give the girls someone to follow and to aspire to be."
Schmidt, who is also the director of junior coaching for southeast Queensland girls, said kids could start at six in the Woolworths Blast program and he urged anyone interested to join a club.
"The only way we'll get more girls to play is if they come along and have a go," he said.