Waves girls bow out of state titles in semi-finals

AN enterprising week finished at the second-last hurdle for Western Waves female cricketers.

The Waves’ under 16 and under 14 girls’ sides bowed out of their state championships with defeats yesterday morning.

The 16s won their four pool matches on Wednesday and Thursday but lost to Mallee Murray Heat by eight wickets in a knockout semi-final.

Gemma Gibbons top-scored with 39 as the Waves posted 6-101 from their 25 overs batting first.

But they were helpless as the Heat, led by two state representatives, cruised to 2-103 from 18.2 overs.

Coach Shae Johnson said the result was disappointing after two unbeaten days.

“All the other games we were fielding first and this one we batted first which threw us a bit,” she said.

“At one stage the girls were 2-4 and they ended up making 6-101, which was good to see they could stick it out for the 25 overs.

“We were hoping to have a few more runs on the board, 15 or 20 more, but didn’t get there. We were pushing uphill.

“Mallee Murray were very strong, they had two state players opening and one made 46 to get them over the line.”

Johnson said the girls “came together as a team” after limited preparation before the state championships.

Balmoral batter Alice Johnston finished the week with 168 runs at an average of 42.

Merino’s Claire Nolte made 119 at 39.67 while Warracknabeal’s Summer Schultz hit 108 at 27.

Nolte and Warrnambool’s Tayla Ryan were the leading wicket takers with seven.

“The round-robin matches we had two convincing wins and two that were quite tight earlier in the match and they ended up coming out on top,” Johnson said.

“It was good because they had times when they had lapses with their concentration and they really had to pull back.

“It was a challenge for them, it wasn’t cruisey.”

The 14s were likewise unbeaten after their three pool matches on Wednesday and Thursday.

They cruised past North West Wizards in a quarter- final on Thursday afternoon but fell 30 runs short in a semi-final against North East Knights yesterday.

The Knights reached 2-120 from their 20 overs while the Waves finished on 7-90.

Mortlake’s Georgia Wareham, 31, and Port Fairy’s Rosie Wynd, 35, combined for a 58-run partnership for the second wicket.

Wareham scored 132 runs for the week and Hawkesdale’s Anna Habel made 111, while the wickets were shared around.

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