Newcastle City has claimed the first-ever NDCA Women’s championship crown, completing the 2019 double after the legacy club topped the regular season undefeated to claim the league’s historic first premiership.
City batted first in the title fight against Waratah-Mayfield, setting a hefty 114 with their 20 overs at the cost of just four wickets.
Abbey Taylor shone, adding 30 to the run haul to make sure the premiers headed into their bowlings innings in good stead, while Clare Webber (24), Kirsten Smith (17), Kelsey Miller (16), and Maddison McGuigan (13*) added to the pile.
Taylor and McGuigan shone brightest together, forging a dominant partnership in the late-overs to combine for 50. Both saw out the innings.
Emma Jayne Howe and captain Fiona Mackenzie were the standouts in Waratah-Mayfield’s attack, with Howe taking 1-5 in four overs, while Mackenzie collected 2-22 in her four-over appearances. Emily Palmer also bowled four.
Waratah-Mayfield stepped up to the crease to chase down City’s run, and were immediately met by an explosive Sienna Eve, who earned her player of the final plaudits with three wickets, while keeping the runners-up to just four runs in three overs.
Skye Lovett started strong for Waratah-Mayfield, slamming a handful of boundaries for the team to get rolling, but a shattering run of wickets saw the runners-up drop from a good start to 7-34 by the final’s tenth over.
Howe (20*) and Cassandra McLaren (10*) were able to stem the bleeding late, pushing Waratah-Mayfield to a respectable 75 after seven fallen wickets, but the ball-count played against them as the team hit over 20 nearly 40 runs short.39-
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Smith, Eve, Miller, Webber, Thea Graham, Abbey Taylor, Milah Riley, Millie Kohl, Simone McGuigan, Maddison McGuigan, Sarah Burns, and Ashlie Stapleton now enter Newcastle District Cricket history as the first eleven women’s champions.
City and Waratah-Mayfield were joined in the league’s first-ever run by Wests and Hamilton-Wickham, contesting a short-format Twenty-20 regular season before cutting to semifinals and an eventual grand final in the past fortnight.
The excitement was already growing ahead of the first season, but now that the race has been run, players can’t wait to see more teams join in 2020 and beyond, and the league itself to grow into a longer event.
“It’s a competition that’s going to grow and grow,” Smith said to the Herald after City’s 39-run victory. “It’s a really good opportunity for women’s cricket so it’s really exciting to be the first winners.”
NDCA officials have confirmed they will be again hosting the Women’s T20 competition next year, and will again field applications from existing Newcastle and Hunter cricket clubs that currently compete in the men’s top divisions.