GRAND final heartbreak cast a shadow over a personal highlight for teenage Mortlake cricketer Georgia Wareham yesterday.
Georgia, 14, was part of the Victorian side which suffered a 70-run defeat to New South Wales in the final of the under 15 female national championships.
The Vics were rolled for 83 in pursuit of New South Wales’ 9-153 at Raby Sports Complex, south-west Sydney. It was their first loss of the titles.
But the defeat had a silver lining, with Georgia earning selection in the team of the championships for her 102 runs and nine wickets in the round-robin matches.
Coach John Hayes said the loss was tough to take, particularly after Victoria beat New South Wales by five wickets in their first match.
“We obviously thought we could win the whole thing, we had won six games straight,” he said. “You go into the final thinking you never know, on the day anybody can beat anybody, but we thought we could win it.
“We’re very proud from a Victorian point of view.
“It’s not just about winning games, it’s about producing players.”
Victoria had the player of the championships and top batter in skipper Annabel Martin and the top bowler in Hayleigh Brennan.
Melina Ayres and Georgia also earned selection in the team of the championships, reflecting the emerging junior cricket talent in the state.
“We’ve got to be happy from a state point of view in regard to producing players,” Hayes said.
“A lot of these girls will go on to bigger and better things and turn into VicSpirit players in three, four, five years.”
Hayes said Georgia would rise into the under 18 ranks should she pursue state selection again next season.
“It’s a big jump,” Hayes said.
He said the young leg-spinner was in contention to attend a Cricket Australia under 15 talent camp, announced yesterday.
“We don’t know which girls are going to go but she’s in amongst that, which is great,” he said.
“She’s in our system. She’s a good player.
“We want to make sure we’re giving her as many opportunities as we can.”