Clubs unite for an all-girl cricket comp


ROCHESTER’S cricket sides have united to field a team in Goul­burn Mur­ray Cricket’s in­au­gu­ral sea­son of all-girls com­pe­ti­tion.

As women’s sport con­tin­ues to boom, the GMC will launch the com­pe­ti­tion this Fri­day night, with the newly named Rochester Rene­gades to host Echuca South at the Rochester High School Oval.

An en­thu­si­as­tic Tigers’ pres­i­dent Ray George said the com­pe­ti­tion would bring the town to­gether.

‘‘We just wanted a side, and in­stead of go­ing with United or Tigers we’re the Rochy Rene­gades,’’ he said.

‘‘We think it’s some­thing that will bring us to­gether and be a lot of fun.

‘‘The ap­peal is that it’s girls ver­sus girls, there’s a lot of lit­tle daugh­ters and young girls play­ing cricket in the back­yard but they haven’t really been able to play the game. GM Cricket has been able to struc­ture the whole league around giv­ing them that chance.’’

The com­pe­ti­tion will run for six weeks, with five weeks of reg­u­lar sea­son fix­tures be­fore a grand fi­nal on De­cem­ber 22.

As well as Rochester, teams from Echuca, Echuca South, Ton­gala, Kyabram Fire Bri­gade and Ba­mawmLock­ing­ton United will also com­pete.

George said the Tigers had the num­bers to field a side but were still look­ing for more play­ers.

‘‘The girls can’t wait, they’re rapt it’s hap­pen­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s just a short se­ries, which is about test­ing the wa­ters, but it’s a growth in­dus­try; look at the Aus­tralian side dom­i­nat­ing and Ell­yse Perry. Now the girls get a chance to be like that.

‘‘We wanted to get the town to­gether to do it, and we’re look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing as a town. It should be a lot of fun.’’

GMC board mem­ber Cam Kervin said the league was com­mit­ted to giv­ing the girls an op­por­tu­nity to com­pete.

‘‘Even if we only had four teams we were go­ing to run the com­pe­ti­tion, be­cause we’ve got to start some­where,’’ he said.

‘‘Now we’re really ex­cited we got six to­gether, and that’s com­pa­ra­ble to other leagues like Bendigo and Shepparton.

‘‘We’ve ben­e­fited from Rochester Tigers and United co-op­er­at­ing to have one side, and from the great work of Ton­gala last year field­ing an all­girls side in the boys’ com­pe­ti­tion. Ton­gala really proved it’s a do-able thing.

‘‘Some teams were sur­prised with the sup­port and how quickly it’s been taken up. We’ll play this sea­son by ear and see how it’s run­ning.’’

The com­pe­ti­tion will fol­low the same rules as un­der 12 play, with 11 play­ers per side but only nine on the field at one time, with the aim of giv­ing more op­por­tu­nity to im­prove fun­da­men­tal skills.

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