North Metro cricket Association vs Cricket Southern Bayside Women's Representative Cricket Match
“Platon comes charging in from the Tyler St end, her team have posted a respectable 101 and they will need her to bowl tightly to contain the opposition. She approaches the crease and… BOWLED! Middle stump goes cartwheeling and the NMCA have the breakthrough!”
Michelle Platon (Holy Trinity) claims the wicket of Penny callaghan (Carnegie)
Friday 22nd February 2019. An ordinary night in the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne, where the lights at Ruthven Reserve are shining, and a large crowd has gathered to watch a game of T20 Cricket. If you had been driving past, you would have looked twice and wondered who all those people were there to watch. If you were visiting friends close by you would have muttered to yourself about not being about to find a park within 800m of the ground. If you were walking your dog, you might have wondered what all the noise was about. But very few would have realised if you looked a bit closer, you were witnessing a moment in history.
On that night, several hundred people gathered at Ruthven Reserve in Preston, to witness the first ever Inter Association Representative Women’s Match in Victorian Cricket history. Whilst women’s cricket has been played in Victoria for over one hundred years, there has only ever been one association, the Victorian Women’s Cricket Association (VWCA), who administered this and thus, no opportunity at a local level for representative games between associations. Until now.
A section of The crowd at Ruthven Reserve watch on
Back to the Beginning…
The North Metro Cricket Association created a competition for adult women beginners in 2015. The competition was unique as it was the first time a senior female grade had been introduced within an existing men’s competition. The NMCA had previously only offered grassroots opportunities for men and boys since 1922. Across the four seasons since its inception, the NMCA has grown from four teams to eighteen teams, with sixteen currently participating in the 2018/19 Summer Season. Female players aged from fourteen through to their sixties now play for their local club, the same team as their Dad, brothers, husbands and partners and most often at the club where they grew up.
Cricket Southern Bayside developed their competition in 2017, following the NMCA model and adapting it to address the needs and composition of the region. This model, having been created within the NMCA and allowed to grow and evolve since the inception, has focused on participation through increasing access and the opportunity to play.
NMCA & CSB 2019 Representative teams
Practically speaking, increasing access means shorter seasons before and after Christmas, T20 and 30 Over One Day Formats, the provision of Equipment Kits for clubs, pre-season Masterclass sessions to develop skills and most importantly creating teams based out of existing (& traditionally men’s) clubs who already have administrators, support staff, scorers and coaches, has allowed both associations to build sustainable, competitive and social competitions that welcome women who have never previously had an opportunity to play. The comment passed most often by players about why they love playing is not about the season length, or the different formats but instead about the friendliness, the camaraderie, the support, the kindness and encouragement that is shared between the teams. This is not something you can legislate or demand, it is something that grows when you hold the space for it to do so.
THE NMCA Fast Bowling Cartel - Rhee SHaw (PBCC), Captain Maree Wells (Donath), Michelle Platon (HTCC) & Ella Stallwood (Fairfield)
An Idea is Born…
At the commencement of the Cricket Southern Bayside initiative in 2017, CSB General Manager Warren Griffin and NMCA Women’s Cricket Manager, Lenore Smith, joked that in a season or two once the second competition was established, the two would be able to play a representative match against each other. After CSB’s first successful season, the phone call was made ‘Let’s do this Rep Match’. (They have both been banned from joking about any more good ideas for at least a year!)
There ensued a process of several months of nominations, statistics analysis, training sessions, team dinners, many emails about Roast Chickens and text messages about fielding rotations, meetings to amalgamate and refine the rules, the recruitment of two marquee coaches – Sarah Elliott and Kristen Beams, and most importantly the selection of representatives from each of the twenty four clubs within both competitions to participate on the night.
Master of Ceremonies Liddy Clark (CHCC) and the teams during the Pre Match Ceremony
Match day arrived and the CSB team made the trip north of the Yarra to the heartland of the Northern Suburbs. The sun shone brightly, an air of anticipation encompassed the ground as the National Anthem rang out. Much to the amusement of those present, and perhaps feeling the sense of occasion, it launched itself into the rarely heard second verse!
NMCA Player of the Match - Sina Mason on her way to 24*
At 6:00pm, the teams took to the field, and as the home side, the NMCA batted first posting a total of 2/101. Notably, Sina Mason from Camrea CC made 24 and was ably supported by Judi Donovan (Dennis CC), Melissa Tripodi (Laurimar CC), Danielle Toull (Olympic Fillies) and Brooke Nam (Keon Park CC) who all retired not out. Paige Hinrichs (Cluden CC) was the lone wicket taker for CSB, bowling Laura Cullen (Holy Trinity CC) for 7 in the fourth over, whilst Lucy Roze (Clifton Hill CC) was run out in the thirteenth with some sharp fielding.
The stumps in disarray as LUCY Roze (CHCC) is run out
After a quick innings break, the lights started to glow as CSB commenced their innings in a quest to chase down the NMCA total. They were stopped early on when Captain Maree Wells (Donath) dismissed Omega’s Jordon Cooper caught behind and then Michelle Platon from Holy Trinity CC had CSB Captain Rhiannin Bretherton (Omega CC) caught, and sent middle stump flying as Penny Callaghan (Carnegie) looked on. When Danielle Toull from Olympic Fillies held on to a brilliant catch well into the second innings, an audible roar could be heard from the crowd who had delighted all evening by such an incredibly entertaining game of cricket.
Danielle Toull (Olympic Fillies) celebrates a sensational outfield catch with the team
In the end, the NMCA emerged victorious. Whilst we may smile ironically and say that ‘cricket was the real winner’, to do so would be selling this game, these players and this moment in history short. Cricket is many things to many people, it has been for several hundred years. At the local level in Victoria, and more broadly across Australia it brings people from different walks of life together, it creates communities, it encourages endeavour, self-improvement and mateship, it brings joy, frustration, exhaltation and most importantly a sense of camaraderie and achievement. This game did all of those things, and for the first time ever it held a space for adult beginner women in local associations to be the beneficiaries.
A new group of participants joined together, in the Spirit of Cricket, in front of several hundred witnesses to play the game we all love, but haven’t always all had the opportunity to play. From now onwards, local female cricketers and aspiring female cricketers of all ages in Victoria will look at this and be able to say, if she can, I can. If they could, then we can too. We can be, what we can see.
The NMCA - First winners of the inaugural women's Inter Association Representative Shield
Local Grassroots Women’s Cricket is important for cricket. Over 300 spectators could tell you that. The countless cars that drove past over those three hours and witnessed the lights and the large crowd could tell you that. The many council and cricket administrators who stood amazed at what they were watching could tell you that. The people who could not find a carpark for twenty minutes could tell you that. The family members, the daughters and sons, the fellow team mates who were present and who come to watch every weekend could tell you that. The players who will go on to higher levels, and the players who will continue to have long and enjoyable careers at their local clubs could tell you that.
Cricket is a game for everybody, at every age and every stage.
Friday 22nd February 2019. It was an excellent day to create history.
The First Ever NMCA WOmen's Representative Team Back Row: COach Kristen Beams, Women's Cricket Manager Lenore Smith, Laura Cullen (HTCC), Brooke Nam (KPCC), Melissa Tripodi (Laurimar), Lauren Byrnes (CHCC), Rhee Shaw (PBCC), Danielle Toull (Olympic Fillies), Judi Donovan (Dennis), Tanae Creek (Lalor), Coach Jon Hyde, Scorer Lisa Hui Front Row: Ella Stallwood (Fairfield), Bianca Addamo (PYCWD), Vice Captain Lucy Roze (CHCC), Captain Maree Wells (Donath), Vice Captain Michelle Platon (HTCC), SIna Mason (Camrea), Saroza Sharma (PHCC), Keely Mercer (HWCC)
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The 2017/18 Women’s Cricket Competition Summer Season will begin on Sunday 4th February. The Season will feature four 30 Over One Day matches played on Sunday mornings, culminating in a Grand Final on Sunday 4th March.
After winning a Premiership in their first season, Camrea have moved into the Lorraine Ireland Shield and Olympic Fillies have moved back into the Lenore Smith Shield.
The fixtures feature several interesting match ups in the Lorraine Ireland Shield. Round 1 sees Cameron play Holy Trinity in a Grand Final rematch, whilst Round 3 sees T10 Tournament Grand Finalists Fairfield and Camrea go head to head again. In the Lenore Smith Shield, Olympic Fillies move back and play Grand Finalists Dennis in their first outing. Four of the matches in Rounds 1 and 3 are Double Headers and will be played before Veteran's Matches creating a carnival environment for the teams.
When the Clifton Hill Cricket Club decided they’d like to join a Women’s Competition in 2017/18, they had no idea that after a few months, one of their own players would soon create history in the NMCA.
Traditionally hailing from the neighbouring Eastern Cricket Association (ECA), the women of the Clifton Hill Cricket Club sought a social and inclusive competition that catered for adult beginners, and soon found themselves participating in the Lenore Smith Shield in the NMCA.
After a successful first season, the team arrived on Sunday 21st January to participate in their first ever Women’s T10 Tournament. Held every year at Donath Reserve, the tournament offers participants a social and fun opportunity to play against new teams, introduce new players and enjoy a big day of playing cricket, with a very healthy amount of giggling, encouragement and cheering included.
Rebekah Drake celebrates one of her Hat-Trick wickets with teammates
During their second game against Keon Park, Clifton Hill bowler Rebekah Drake took the first hat-trick ever recorded in the NMCA Women’s Cricket Competition during the T10 Tournaments. A feat she was rightfully delighted about, once she realised what had happened as Captain Liddy Clarke informs us.
First taking a caught and bowled, and then combining with wicket keeper Claire Williamson for two caught behinds, Drake became the first woman in the history of the competition to take a hat-trick. She finished the innings with 3/14.
Clifton Hill went on to win the match against Keon Park, before being edged out of contention for the final, which was contested between Camrea and Fairfield, with Fairfield taking the final honours.
An enormous congratulations to Rebekah, we are delighted for her, what a wonderful achievement and piece of history that belongs to her!
The Annual T10 Women's Cricket Tournament will be held on Sunday 21st January at Donath Reserve. All teams will play three round robin games with two teams progressing to the Grand Final.
Round 1 – 8:30am – 10:05am
Donath #1 – Keon Park v Holy Trinity Donath #2 – Clifton Hill v Preston Himalayan Donath #3 – Preston Baseballers v Olympic Fillies Donath #4 – Fairfield v Camrea Donath #5 – Cameronettes v Heidelberg West Donath #6 – Donath v Dennis
Round 2 – 10:40am – 12:15pm Donath #1 – Holy Trinity v Preston Baseballers Donath #2 – Clifton Hill v Keon Park Donath #3 –Olympic Fillies v Preston Himalayan Donath #4 – Donath v Camrea Donath #5 – Heidelberg West v Dennis Donath #6 – Fairfield v Cameronettes
White Ribbon Lunch – 12:15pm – 12:55pm – Keon Park Rooms
Round 3 – 1:00pm – 2:35pm Donath #1 – Keon Park v Camrea Donath #2 – Clifton Hill v Holy Trinity Donath #3 – Preston Baseballers v Preston Himalayan Donath #4 – Heidelberg West v Olympic Fillies Donath #5 – Cameronettes v Dennis Donath #6 – Fairfield v Donath
Grand Final 2:45 – 4:15pm – Donath #1
Finalists calculated by Most Games Won, where this is equal, places are determined by most wickets taken and where this is equal then most runs made.
Good luck to all of our participants - we are looking forward to another wonderful day of Women's Cricket!
On Sunday 10th December, the women of the NMCA took to the field to chase Premiership Glory in the Season 2017/18 Spring Season Grand Finals. A huge crowd of over 100 spectators poured into Oulton Reserve, where host club Preston Baseballers had provided an excellent set up of coffee, egg and bacon rolls and sunshine for all to enjoy.
The games were umpired by a quartet of officials who had completed the NMCA Women's Cricket Competition Umpiring Program in Season 2017/18, which focused on providing umpires with an in-depth understanding of the nuances of the women's game.
NMCA Umpires - Ian Kearns, Michael Jumeau, Frances Galvin King and Diane Canavan
Once again, the Cameronettes met Holy Trinity in the Lorraine Ireland Shield - a Grand Final rematch from Season 2016/17. After going through an entire two seasons unbeaten before losing the previous Grand Final to Holy Trinity, the Cameronettes were keen to level the score. Holy Trinity won the toss and elected to bat, compiling a total of 7/106 off their 20 overs.
The Cameronettes teetered at 2 for 14 early, before Kellie Trotter and Kara Craig joined together for a 54 run partnership that placed the team in a commanding position. The winning runs were hit by Belinda Harvey, as the Cameronettes claimed their first Lorraine Ireland Shield with a total of 4/109 off 17.3 overs.
A large group of spectators watch the Cameronettes defeat Holy Trinity
In the Lenore Smith Shield, newcomers Camrea faced the Dennis Dragonettes who have had excellent participation across the two indoor seasons in 2017, with their improvement leading them to their first Grand Final in the Women's Cricket Competition. Lead by their Captain Julie Miller, the team features seven players aged 40 or over who have taken up the game as adults, many of whom are enjoying the prospect of playing with their daughters in seasons to come. Camrea started the season with only 9 players a week before Round 1, before building a formidably strong unit and enjoying several wins in the home and away rounds.
Dennis won the toss and elected to bowl, holding Camrea to 4/109 with Teresa Cassar making 35* for the Stingrays. Dennis then provided a thrilling run chase falling just short making 8/89 off their 20 overs.
The Next Generation of NMCA Women's Cricketers supporting their Mums & Family!
Kara Craig from Cameron was awarded the Lorraine Ireland Shield Player of the Match, taking 2/8 and making an instrumental 30 runs when the game was in the balance. Teresa Cassar from Camrea was the Lenore Smith Shield Player of the Match for her 35* with the bat, 3/12 with the ball and possibly the best catch we have ever seen in the Women's Competition!
It was a magnificent morning and celebration of skill, camaraderie and cricket! A huge congratulations to all of the participants who continue to embrace and embody the very best things about the game we all love.
Our second Women's Skills Masterclass Session saw over 60 women and girls in attendance to learn the fine art of wicketkeeping, as well as brush up on batting and bowling skills with Renegades Jenny Taffs.
This is our biggest attendance at a session and demonstrates the growth of our competition and just how much fun our players have when they get together! Huge thanks and gratitude to all of our coaching assistants and session helpers, who make these nights a success. The energy and enthusiasm we are seeing at these sessions is enormous, it is going to be another brilliant season of cricket!
Every year in local cricket there are a handful of clubs who have a very good year. Their first eleven go back to back to back, the competition medal winner hails from their club and three players make the Team of the Year, all of their sides make the Grand Final, even better all of their sides win their Grand Finals. In the NMCA 2016/17 Season, Heidelberg West had a very good year. Every senior team made the Grand Final, and then they won them. Whilst this is an exceptional feat, it is not particularly unusual, until you look a tad closer and notice that one of these senior teams was their Women’s Team. Peer a little closer and you will notice that there were two sets of siblings and five couples who won these premierships across the men’s and women’s teams. It wasn’t just a very good year, it was absolutely unprecedented.
Women's Training at Heidelberg Park
Situated in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, the Heidelberg West Cricket Club originated in the 1960s and its teams played the majority of their cricket in the Heidelberg District Cricket Association. When the HDCA folded in 2011, they moved across and joined the NMCA. Whilst they won a Grand Final during a regrading season in Quick Shield in 2012/13 they lost the subsequent promotion game that would have seen them move into A Grade. Since this time further premiership success had eluded the club, until now.
Fielding teams in Jack Quick Shield (B Grade), Les Horne Shield (B Reserve), E Grade and the Women’s Cricket Competition, President and Women’s Cricket Team Coach Calvin Robinson, states that he was ‘quietly hopeful’ that at least one of the men’s teams and the women’s team would come close to Premiership success this season. Heidelberg West was one of the four founding teams in the Women’s Cricket Competition in 2015/16, and had made two T10 Tournament Grand Finals before reaching the Grand Final of the Lenore Smith Shield (Division Two) this year. The inclusion of marquee player Morgan Flinn, (an NMCA Junior alumni) into the team for the Summer Season added an extra family tie to a team full of wives, girlfriends and partners. The club had entered the season optimistic about their chances for another tilt at winning Jack Quick Shield and gaining the promotion to A Grade but what eventuated was something much greater. It all began on the first Sunday in March when their Women’s Team played their first Grand Final against Preston YCW District.
Having been sent in to bat first, Heidelberg West posted a total of 5/154 before having Preston YCW District 7 for 21 in their innings. Whilst Preston YCW rallied, they were eventually dismissed for 80 and Heidelberg West was crowned the Lenore Smith Shield Premiers. On the same day, the Second and Third XI’s went on to win their way through to their respective Grand Finals the following weekend, and the juggernaut began to roll.
Lenore Smith Shield PRemiers Heidelberg West & runners up Preston YCW District
On Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th March, both the Second and Third XI’s played in Grand Finals. Victory looked unlikely in the second XI game with Heidelberg West falling to 5 for 30 chasing 79, however a tenth wicket partnership between brothers Andrew and Riley Muir saw a very unexpected win. Elsewhere in the third eleven, opposition team Bundoora Park posted 117 which was comfortably chased down by Heidelberg West with seven wickets in hand and plenty of overs to spare.
By halfway through March, three of the four senior teams had won Premierships and the First Eleven had just won their way through to the Jack Quick Grand Final the following weekend. The First XI match against rivals Preston Baseballers was a spirited affair, having won the toss Heidelberg West chose to bat and posted a score of 182. Their opponents could only manage 158 in response. The Premiership Quartet had been completed.
The Four Heidelberg West Premiership Teams
As the dust settled on an extraordinary season that weekend, it became clear that we had just witnessed something very special. We wondered if there was any other association or club in Victoria, perhaps even Australia, who could lay claim to having five premiership winning couples and two sets of premiership winning siblings in the one season, it seemed unlikely at best.
There were Michael, Stephen and Morgan Flinn, the siblings who all won Premierships at Heidelberg West this year. Having played their junior cricket throughout the NMCA, as adults they all came to play at the same club in 2016/17.
Adelle and Michael Missen are parents to 2 and a half year old Claire and 6 month old William, who also happen to both be Premiership Players. Adele came back to cricket after a brief stint playing in high school in the late 90s and has played around the birth of her son. Her love for cricket at Heidelberg West is based around the bond the girls in the team share and ‘being a great example to her kids, showing them…what teamwork looks like’. A batsman and vice-captain of the second eleven, this was Michael’s first premiership after ten years at Heidelberg West. Much like Adelle his highlight is the close bond she has with her teammates and getting to watch his wife enjoy herself playing cricket.
Rebecca and Greg Camilleri have five children, and now they also have two premiership medals between them. As the Co-Captain of the Women’s Team Rebecca was the first Camilleri to pick up a Premiership medal in Season 2016/17, Greg as the First XI Wicketkeeper soon followed suit. Husband and wife, Andrew and Louise Muir also enjoyed Premiership success together. Lou is Co-Captain of the Women’s Team and also plays in the team with her sister Lauren. As Captain and opening batsman of the second eleven Andrew has appreciated Lou’s understanding that playing cricket isn’t just ‘standing around doing nothing’ all Saturday, and Lou finally gets ‘why the guys get so frustrated with themselves!’ Cricket is more than a game at Heidelberg West, it is a family affair.
The heidelberg West Family
In our small corner of the cricketing world things continue to grow and change. Unusual records are being set, couples are winning Premierships, clubs are uniting as cricket families, conversations and expectations are changing and a new type of cricket story is being written. As it continues to expand and evolve, it will be told to friends, children and the wider cricket community, bringing more people to play the game we all love with a vision that will start to change the game forever. Cricket is a sport for all, and nowhere is that more brilliantly encapsulated than at the Heidelberg West Cricket Club. And if you happen to meet anyone from Heidelberg West walking down the street in the near future and you ask them how they went this season, don’t be surprised to hear, this year, was a Very Good Year.