The time has come for two of the top teams in the McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket Glenda Hall Shield to go head to head in this Sunday’s grand final. Following 10 rounds of the regular fixture and last weeks semi-finals, Eastlake’s strong batting performance over Western District-UC secured their place, while Tuggeranong’s sharp bowling against Western Creek Molonglo secured their position in the face-off.
Eastlake and Tuggeranong faced off twice during the season, with Tuggeranong walking away with both wins. The first showdown played out in round one back in October 2016. Eastlake’s total of 3/104 proved to just be a few runs short of a defendable score which included a great hit-out by Melissa Campbell who scored 46* to put her team in good stride. Tuggeranong’s prime bowlers included Rebecca Kidd (1/15 off three) and allrounder Jamie Kneebone (1/16 off three). Both teams then experienced an intense final over, with Jamie Kneebone on 41 not-out allowing Tuggeranong to dash past the target score with four balls remaining. Cameron Butler was the best of the Eastlake bowlers, as she finished with 2/21 from her four overs, while Erin Pierlot (1/15) also picked up a wicket.
The second encounter was in round six and it proved to be another heartbreaking loss to Eastlake, who were still chasing their first win for the year. In almost the same fashion, fate struck twice with Eastlake going down with two balls to spare. Eastlake’s Joss Preston top scored with 21, whilst Melissa Campbell was a close second finishing her innings on 19 runs. With solid performances from the lower order, Eastlake posted a total of 8/80 from their 20 overs. Tuggeranong were exceptional in the field with Makayla Clark snubbing two run outs, assisted by Rebecca Kidd's two wickets, keeping Eastlake on their toes. In their innings, Tuggeranong were slowed down in their run rate and appeared to be struggling at 3/41 after 13 overs, with Makayla Clark top scoring with 28 runs. In career best form, Fleta Page bowled remarkably with figures of 3/20 off four, but wasn’t enough to give Eastlake to victory.
The Lead Up
Eastlake- LW(ON ON FORFEIT)LLLLWWLLW
Eastlake had a very rocky start to their season, losing their first six games and won only three games, which included one forfeit, to scrape into the top four. Standout over the season was wicketkeeper Melissa Campbell, who on numerous occasions scored a half-century or just shy of to keep her teammates in the contest. Captain Petra Bright played a key role in all of Eastlake’s matches, providing stability in the middle order. In last week’s semi final, Eastlake defeated 2015/16 premiers Western District-UC after chasing down 82-runs in just 14-overs. Janet King single-handedly secured the much needed runs in the second innings, top scoring with 32-runs featuring four boundaries. Wickets were equally shared amongst the girls, with Alisa Clark posing the best figures 1/10 off 3.
Tuggeranong were a mixed bag throughout the season, winning six, losing three and tying once. Standout performers include all-rounder Jamie Kneebone, who has averaged 38 runs per match including two half centuries, and fast bowler Rebecca Kidd, who played all ten matches with her best bowling performance being 3/16. After finishing third on the ladder, Tuggeranong defeated Western Creek Molonglo in the semi-finals in a close affair, with both teams impressing with the bat and ball. Makayla Clark caught her opposition failing to come off strike producing 2/7 off four overs, which included a remarkable two maidens to edge her team over the line, booking their position in the final.
Who to Watch:
Eastlake- If Eastlake is going to win this weekend, captain Petra Bright will be leading the way to victory. In a stellar batting performance from Bright, pairing with wicketkeeper Melissa Campbell for a 4th wicket partnership of 42-runs in round one, Bright will be powerful on strike facing Tuggeranong’s bowling. Eastlake’s newest player Janet King will also bring confidence with the bat, combining with Eastlake’s openers Liz Edwards and Erin Pierlot. Fast bowler Cameron Butler will be dominant with the ball after taking 7 wickets so far in the competition, especially when working with Fleta Page’s off spin, who has joined the ranks of the top 5 wicket takers in the competition.
Tuggeranong- Bowlers Rebecca Kidd and Makayla Clark will be on full display this Sunday, coming off great individual performances over the season. Kidd's 14 wickets have proven deadly, especially combined with Clark’s 13 scalps. Both have provided some early innings damage with the ball and have fielded incredibly well throughout the season. Jamie Kneebone has also enjoyed an amazing season, scoring 368 runs so far, snarring 8 wickets and has provided extensive support in the field taking several catches. All-rounder Jodi Knight will also be looking to cause destruction, as she has been equally impressive with the bat and ball scoring 170 runs as well as taking 13 wickets.
Why they will win?
Eastlake- Eastlake have improved immeasurably over the season. The last lime they faced Tuggeranong, they only lost by a small margin. Eastlake needs to concentrate on playing smart with captain Petra Bright saying, “We need to focus on those one percenters, saving every extra run and taking every available single, as we showed in our semi-final win. Our running between wickets and fielding is some of the best in the competition."
"In a short form game, every run counts and we're always ready to take the easy - and sometimes not so easy - singles, and our extra efforts in the field have helped us stay on top of some very strong players and teams. It will be what will really gets us over the line on Sunday.”
Bright also commentated that her girls are thrilled to be competing against Tuggeranong this Sunday, when comparing both teams at the start of the season and how far both have come and achieved.
“The team is very excited about the grand final this weekend. It's especially great to see a final between two teams who may not have been pitted as finals chances at the beginning of the season.”
Tuggeranong- Tuggeranong’s winning performance against Eastlake in the regular fixture was based on their strong fielding and bowling. Each matchup between the two has been closely competed and spirited. Bowler Rebecca Kidd declares that the key to Tuggeranong winning this weekend will be in their attacking bowling and the confidence and comradely within the squad.
“If we can field well as a unit and our bowlers can bowl tight overs, we’ll absolutely give ourselves the best chance of winning on Sunday. All our players have begun to find form and confidence, which has enabled them to put in 100%. I think if we can repeat that effort from the last two weekends, we will be able to get over the line. That, and everyone likes to see an underdog win!”
With many of Tuggeranong’s squad playing their first final match, a few of the older girls will need to steer the ship in order for a well deserved final showdown.
Kidd is also delighted with the progress her side and Eastlake have made this season, and women’s cricket more generally, commentating on the huge strides the game is taking in the Canberra region.
“Over the past couple of seasons, both [grand final] squads have found themselves in a rebuild phase, and it is wonderful for each squad to have gotten into the grand final. The semi-final performances by both squads, who were seen as the underdogs, show that women’s cricket really is alive and well in the ACT. Both teams have played some fantastic cricket throughout the season, and each thoroughly deserve to be here competing for the trophy.”
When: 10:00am Sunday 19th March
Where: Chisholm No 2 Oval
Article by Jaylee Ismay.