A decision to return to the sport she loves is paying off for Brierly-Christ Church cricketer Amy McKenzie.
McKenzie's Bulls knocked off reigning Warrnambool and District Cricket Association women's grand finalists Allansford-Panmure on Sunday, November 19, dismissing the Gators for a modest 60.
The right-armed opening pace bowler's performance was crucial to the round four win, hitting the stumps of the Gators' first three batters to put the opposition on notice.
The 26-year-old finished with season-best figures of 3-11 from three overs.
"It's always nice to play my role and take those early wickets and set up the team," McKenzie told The Standard.
"It was our first game on turf (this season) and it was amazing to have that experience.
"They were just really sliding on nicely for me and I was able to manipulate the ball how I wanted to make it move... and there is a bit of luck."
McKenzie praised her teammates for their efforts in the win, which lifted the undefeated Bulls to stand-alone leaders at the top of the ladder after four rounds.
Six teammates picked up wickets after McKenzie, before opening batters Hannah Rooke (31 not out) and Grace Butters (28 not out) easily hit the runs needed to secure the result.
"It was amazing, it was a tremendous effort," McKenzie said. "We've really come together as a squad.
"We're really diverse in our skill mix and I think everyone has a part to play."
McKenzie, who works as a nurse at Warrnambool Base Hospital, is in her second season at Brierly-Christ Church after returning to the sport.
She first played at Camperdown, where she grew up, and had a year with the Western Waves as a teenager.
"I just wanted to get back in the game and do something I love, and cricket's something I love," she said.
"It's been the best decision I've made getting back into cricket."
McKenzie hopes to elevate her game this summer after taking up the invitation of additional training with the club's men's players.
"I can pull any of the senior men aside and they're just such a good group of lads so I can ask questions and they'll work on my technique with me as well," she said.
The Bulls, who reached a semi-final last season, look like they too could go another step further after starting the season 4-0.
But McKenzie is confident the squad will take the season in their stride.
"We're certainly not taking our success for granted, the unpredictably of cricket certainly keeps us grounded and hungry for more challenges," she said.
"We need to keep pushing forward and aim towards that bigger picture."
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