North Shore 8 – 187 (Eliza Henry 2 for 26 from 7, Emily Horstead 2 for 38 from 8) defeated Manly (Eliza Henry 31 and Franky Poate 24)
Our well-oiled machine of players and parents arrived at Howson Oval Turramurra and was set up and warming up before the North Shore team had arrived! We were keen for the final Mollie Dive game of the season, the Grand Final.
Pre-game warm up vibe was good, thought we quickly realised that our bumpiest Northern Beaches grounds were like carpets compared to Howson. It also took a phone call to the Council and a couple of hours before the ladies toilet was open.
The discussion with our Manly girls was centred around our amazing season, so unexpected that Ross had to Facetime in from the Adelaide Test to give his pregame message. We impressed on our girls that the expectation and pressure of winning was on North Shore (with 8 players returning from last year’s Mollie Dive Grand Final), not us.
Unfortunately our leadership team of Emily and Eliza called incorrectly and North Shore decided to bat. We knew we had three big wickets to take.
Despite giving away too many sundries through the innings we started well and had two of the big three with the score on 3 for 39. Hannah and wicket keeper Annabelle each had a catch off Eliza and North Shore’s Holly Toms (who had scored 92 in the recent National final) was run out going for a third run. Emily then shattered the stumps, Annabelle got another runout and Sophie had an LBW. We had North Shore 6 for 72, but opener Olivia Callaghan was still there.
A vociferous appeal after a ball deflected from Darcey’s bowling to Hannah at slip with Olivia on strike was given not out, and from there we could not shift Olivia or her partner. Having 5 impacted players did not help us restrict the singles or two’s.
When Emily finally removed the seventh wicket the score had progressed to 165. Olivia then finished the North Shore innings freely, as our fielding tired and mistakes were made, and carried her bat for 93 not out. We had only got 2 out of 3 and North Shore finished on 8 for 187.
Thank you to CricketNSW for paying for North Shore to order us Subway for lunch.
We knew the chase would be tough, but we took on the challenge with a positive outlook. Though it did not start well when we lost Hannah LBW with the score on 14.
Franky and Eliza then established a good partnership and took the score into the 50’s when Franky was tragically runout going for a third! Mirroring the dismissal in the North Shore innings. Some very straight bowling then dismissed Emily, Eliza and Jazzy soon after and at 5 for 75 our run chase had lost momentum. We just could not get a middle order partnership (or two) going. Sophie made double figures, as did Emma. Our score of 122 was quite respectable against an accurate bowling attack. The target of 188 was a stretch too far on the day.
We had some disappointed girls, coaching staff and parents watching on as North Shore collected the Mollie Dive Shield. Thank you to CricketNSW’s Jessica McMahon, Youth Championship Officer, who watched the entire Mollie Dive Grand Final and was there to hand out the medals to North Shore.
But what a successful season we had. A fabulous group of girls and parents. A wonderful achievement to make the Grand Final! A wonderful team environment.
When asked about season highlights a number of the girls strongly stated beating North Shore at fortress Griffith Park. We were the only team to beat North Shore.
A final highlight was the ice shower for coach Dom Wheeler (Manly District 4th Grade skipper). The girls really enjoyed that.
Ross will cover off more in the end of season report but I must say thank to Dom, Danny, Cameille, Nerralyn and all those parents who have helped support the wonderful cricketing environment for the girls. I particularly want to say thank you to Ross for his ongoing support of girls Representative cricket for MWJCA.