On Monday 28th November, the Year 8 Girls Super 8 cricket team undertook what was to be their final early start for the year. The team was down one member with Erika Falconer making a late withdrawal due to a basketball injury suffered the night before. Departing Galen at 5.45am, they arrived at Oak Park in Pascoe Vale at 9.15am, with the outline of the day to play three games in a four team pool.
Game 1. Galen vs Nagle College (121 – 98)
Leela Rosser stepped up for the toss, getting the first win of the day and choosing to bowl. Sophia McCarthy and Emma O’Keefe opened the bowling, with Sophia taking a cracking wicket on her first bowl of the day. In the second pair, Meg Allan took a wicket and Kara O’Donhoue showed off some great pace and consistent bowling. Leela took a fantastic dive, saving the ball from the boundary and Amy Holmes showed some fantastic keeping on the receiving end of the bowling from Bailey Thwaites. Leela showed some great bowling against a strong batter and Phoebe Osborne finished the half with some excellent bowling straight down the pitch. Galen was chasing 78 runs at the change-over, having taken two wickets. Phoebe and Bailey opened the batting, taking 12-major scores for their overs. Kara and Leela followed next, with plenty of smart play and sneaky singles. Leela picked the openings in the field, smashing two 8s from the double zone and a 4. Sophia and Meg were the next team in, following the smart play outlined by Leela. Sophia added a total of 16 to the tally from majors before Amy and Charlotte Proft came in to close the batting, with 14 majors between them.
Game 2. Galen vs Melbourne Girls College (138 – 126)
In the second game, Sophia opened the bowling with Emma, both girls were putting down some fantastic bowls. Phoebe took a fantastic wicket from the field with a long throw. Before Charlotte and Amy came in and turned up the heat on the opposition. Amy bowled some excellent balls, before passing it over to Bailey and Phoebe. Phoebe took a wicket with some consistent bowling, while Bailey saw each ball well-kept at the other end of the pitch. Leela and Meg tagged in to finish the bowling half, with Leela bringing the pace and Meg taking a fantastic catch behind the wicket off an edge. Meg and Amy opened the batting, with both of them finding the boundary. Shortly followed by a boundary in the double zone from Meg and then a convincing 6 from Amy. The girls cheered on each other and the opposition, displaying great sportsmanship and an appreciation for the skills that were on display. Bailey ‘Baz’ Thwaites hit the first 12 of the day when it was her turn to face, with partner Kara hitting two 8s. Sophia added another 12 in majors in her partnership with Phoebe; with Galen’s total at 97 before the final change. Leela and Charlotte came in to finish the game, with Leela smashing 25 in majors and Charlotte running hard to keep up. Once again our girls proved they had the right stuff, defeating MGC by 11 runs.
Game 3. Galen vs Koonung SC (96 – 86)
In their final round robin match, having already defeated two teams out of their pool, there was an air of confidence and the quiet possibility that Galen would be playing in the State final. The girls were given a stern word to keep their heads, and play their game as they set their minds to what they had to do. Amy and Kara were the first pair up to bowl, with Amy showing off her skills and Kara in the keep to send it straight back to her and blocking the chance of any singles. Sophia and Phoebe were in next, both displayed the consistent bowling efforts they had shown all day, with Phoebe taking a wicket on her second ball. Leela took at catch and Charlotte and Emma kept up the pace keep their opponents under pressure. Leela and Meg took over to finish the half with Leela continuing her excellent pace and Meg standing strong in the keep, opposite her deliveries. Meg then took a wicket of her own before it was time to swap over, with Galen chasing 76 runs. Amy and Kara opened with Amy scoring a major of 6, before Meg and Charlotte stepped up to make a 12 run over. Bailey and Sophia charged in with Baz taking yet another 12 majors for the day, followed by Leela scoring an 8 and a 6 – the girls only dropping two wickets for the half. At the end of the game the scores were tallied and wickets scores added, and Galen had taken the hat-trick defeating Koonung 96 – 86.
State Final V. Bendigo South East College (135 – 110)
The girls turned the heat up in the final, throwing everything they had at the pitch. Sophia opened with some fantastic bowling with Emma backing her in the keep. It didn’t take long before this powerful combination saw the fall of a wicket, but in an unlucky turn of events it was taken out by the batter in her own swing. Bailey took a brilliant catch in the field as the girls continued to ‘get around each other’ with lots of talk on the ground and high-fives at the change overs. Leela took a fantastic catch, followed by an epic dive minutes later. She then got a run-out taking her third wicket for the game in the space of 10-minutes. Amy delivered some fantastic bowling, which set up a catch for Sophia and Bailey bowled some very close balls with plenty of pace. Phoebe and Leela were the last pair to bowl, with Phoebe working hard in wicket keeper to stop the balls that Leela was firing down the pitch. Sophia took the catch of the day, in a phenomenal one-hander in the double zone, bringing her tally to two for the match and marking the end of the half with a staggering 7 wicket lead in their pocket. At this point the scorers had decided that they would not share with the teams, in order to play out the remainder of the match and announce the official winner in the presentations. So for the first time all day the Galen girls weren’t sure what they were score chasing! Despite this the girls kept up their superior standard in the second half. Phoebe and Bailey opened the batting line up with the instruction to play smart and protect their wickets. Bailey took the opportunity for lots of sneaky singles while Phoebe found the boundary with a 4. Leela and Kara were in next, running hard and making the most of the free hits with Leela taking a 6 and an 8. Sophia and Meg were in third and saw Sophia find some great form, taking two separate 4’s before smashing the ball over the double zone for a 12. Charlotte and Amy closed the batting with a 30+ over, an amazing feat off just 12 balls. The girls had dropped only two wickets! They worked hard to pick the gaps and find the boundary and had racked up an impressive tally of sneaky singles. It was an anxious wait to hear the final word in the presentations, but the team had certainly given it all they had. The Galen girls had done enough, with the final score announced at 135 – 110.
What a brilliant team effort and a fantastic group of girls to take to state. Your positive attitudes and great sportsmanship carried you all the way and it was an absolute pleasure to coach you!! To Captain Leela Rosser who was awarded the day’s MVP, thank-you for the consist effort you showed, for your commitment and for the support and direction that you gave the team both on and off the pitch. Thank-you to Matt Whitten and Nathan Lee for accompanying us and for scoring throughout the day and to Assistant Coach Blake Nixon; who I’m pretty sure is still wearing his state medallion.