Hunter duo Maisy Gibson and Corrine Hall may have seen their Women’s National Cricket League campaign with Tasmania come to a crunching halt with back-to-back defeats against NSW and the ACT, but it wasn’t without one final stand.
The Tigers struggled to find results in the 2019/20 season, scoring just two wins in the one-day tournament to boost themselves away from the wooden spoon. Their dual-wins came in a doubleheader against last-placed South Australia.
Despite the difficult, and eventually finals-less season, Gibson and Hall weren’t going to pack in the campaign with the Tigers without a fight, especially with the Meteors and the Breakers still in the hunt for year-end plaudits.
Maitland’s spin queen Gibson especially shone against her old team, netting a 48-run haul alongside batter Sasha Moloney (59), but their 88-run stand wasn’t enough to stop the indomitable Breakers from rolling on to the table’s top spot.
In particular, the NSW squad was guided by young gun Phoebe Litchfield, who piled on 44 alongside Breakers stand-in skipper Lisa Griffith. The team’s leader collected a major 65-run haul, and combined with Litchfield for 82 after a rough four-wicket run for just 35 runs nearly derailed the New South Welshwomen at the opening hurdle.
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Heartbreak awaited the Tigers in their final outing too, as they fell just four runs—and three wickets— short of victory. The victory also spelled disappointment for Hall (13) and Gibson (a duck) with the bat. Gibson ended her season with a wicket.
While head coach Salliann Briggs praised Gibson for “keeping the Tigers competitive” in their battle with the Breakers, the Tasmanian mentor admitted the team has been “far from our best” during the 2019/20 WNCL campaign.
“I’m pleased how we fought back from a poor start in many of the games, but there were times when we got a strong lead and couldn’t find that final moment to get over the line,” she said. “That felt like the season as a whole, and it got away from us.”
“We know we’re a much better team, and we have a lot of stars here at the Tigers, so we’ll look to dust ourselves off, and come back stronger next summer.”
Gibson and Hall now have an offseason stretch ahead of them before returning to link up with the Tasmanian Tigers, and the southern territory’s Women’s Big Bash League team the Hobart Hurricanes, for the 2020/21 summer season.