Meaghan MacDonald and Kate Handley guided Waratah-Mayfield to a history-making victory over Hamilton Wickham in the opening round of the Newcastle District Cricket Association’s first-ever women’s competition.
Waratah opened the batting with 180 runs off three wickets, with Handley chipping in 54 not out for the majority of the haul. Her partnership with Lauren Taylor (24*) led the way, while club captain Fiona Mackenzie added 23 before retiring injured.
Enter McDonald as the Hamwicks looked to run down the set 180. The AFL convert opened her account in style, staggering their opponents with a dominant hat-trick.
Waratah’s hat-trick hero was helped along in her attack by Cassandra McLaren, who bagged three wickets of her own in the opening fixture, and Emily Palmer (1/1) and Jamee Ellis (1/6). Mackenzie wrapped up the innings with a double off two overs.
Although Hamwicks captain Wendy Rogers put in a strong stint with the bat, the storming innings from the victors was too much to overcome, and the chasing team were pipped at the post with just a 43-run haul after 18 overs.
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In the second first-round fixture, Newcastle City claimed the other inaugural victory up for grabs at Learmonth Park after chasing down Wests’ 81 runs.
Kelsey Miller shone with the bat, smashing out ten boundaries – including two sixes – to score 61 of the team’s 82-run haul as the team took just two wickets to run down Wests’ run-count in 13 overs.
Abbey Taylor starred for the Sabres in the bowling, claiming two wickets in four overs, while Maddie McGuigan and Thea Graham added a wicket apiece in seven overs.
The defeated side also still managed decent stints in their innings with the bat, as Sonia Sharpe and her daughter Montanna combined for 38 runs.
“It was such a great thing to be apart of and the girls were appreciative of what was going on,” City coach Tom Anderson told the Herald, while Wests helmsman Steve Petherbridge echoed the sentiment: “All the girls came off with a smile on their face.”