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Wanderers go back-to-back as Meg Spalding and fielding headline dominant victory

Victor Tanti and Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Charli and Olivia Bidwell celebrate as Regan Fitzsimmons is run out.
Camera IconCharli and Olivia Bidwell celebrate as Regan Fitzsimmons is run out. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Wanderers are back-to-back Young Motors Women’s Cricket League premiers after an imposing 46-run win over Sportsmans at GBSC on Sunday.

Sporties were overwhelmed by a side that’s been head and shoulders above the competition this season despite a spirited effort.

Wanderers’ Linda Rose chose to bat when she won the toss on what turned out to be a slow wicket with an even slower outfield.

Coming into the clash Sportsmans captain Joe Walker said they needed to keep Wanderers to under 100 to be in with a shout and they just about did that as Wanderers finished with 2-96 off their 20 overs.

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However, she also said they needed to also be sharp in the field and unfortunately, Sportsmans had a bad day with four dropped chances.

Meg Spalding was a class above with 44
Camera IconMeg Spalding was a class above with 44 Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Meg Spalding (44 off 42 balls) hit four fours and a six while Layne Gillingham (12) held up an end until in a chalk-and-cheese partnership putting on 54 for the first wicket.

Spalding was a class above anyone else on the day the only one who looked comfortable adjusting the pace of the pitch.

Gillingham was retired allowing Olivia Bidwell (19) and Abby Green (12) to finish well.

Tia Hatch gave up only eight runs in four overs, Isabelle MacPherson seven off three and Jo Walker just six off four.

But the other four bowlers in nine overs between them went for 73 runs.

That was compounded by the drops with Gillingham given a life dropped on the boundary at cow while Spalding was dropped the first over after drinks.

Hatch then dropped a tough caught and bowled off Bidwell before she was dropped again at long-on with the ball trickling over for four.

In contrast, Wanderers were excellent in the field as Sporties lost an early wicket in the chase with Amanda Gundry caught by Ashlyn Thompson at cover off Bidwell.

Then Abby Green (2-11) made a big incision when she bowled Sarah Prickett for nine.

By the time Jess Wake fell to Sam Biddiscombe (4-6), who managed to extract some pace from the wicket, the required run rate was an issue at the halfway mark claiming to 6.60 an over and growing.

Only Belinda Burrows (14) notched double figures and when she was caught by Rose off Biddiscombe, the game was basically done.

Desperate, Sporties took on the field but that only produced three run outs, all involving Olivia Bidwell as Wanderers never took their foot off the peddle bowling out their rivals for 50.

Captain Rose was proud of her team and believes the team can go again next year.

“It’s pretty exciting to go back to back, we’ve played pretty well all season but you never know on the day,” she said.

“We batted really well, it was a difficult wicket to bat on and then in the field we bowled really tight and catches win matches and we didn’t miss any.”

Rose praised Spalding’s attacking mindset.

“That’s the batter she is, she has no respect for the bowlers which is beautiful and allows her to do what she does,” she said.

The playoff for third at the Rec was easily won by Towns over CVN. Towns batted first and made 5-114.

Dirannie Kirby (44) passed 500 runs but while Janelle Phillips (18 not out) ended six short of 1000. Kiara Hutchinson (2-11) was best of the bowlers.

CVN was content to survive in their reply of 5-44 though Kylie Bremner (23 not out) did hit out.

Wanderers are back to back champions
Camera IconWanderers are back to back champions Credit: Jake Santa Maria

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