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Young Motors Women’s Cricket League grand final: Wanderers favourites for premiership hat-trick over Sporties

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Olivia Bidwell and Layne Gillingham shared a 100 run stand
Camera IconOlivia Bidwell and Layne Gillingham shared a 100 run stand Credit: Jake Santa Maria/RegionalHUB

Wanderers are favoured to beat Sporties in Saturday night’s Young Motors Women’s Cricket League grand final at Wonthella.

Wanderers want a premiership hat-trick while Sporties, valiant but outclassed against them in both 2021-22 and 2022-23, face a herculean task, especially with Tia Hatch unavailable.

Conversely, Wanderers captain Olivia Bidwell reports she should have a full-strength team.

“Excited to be under lights and looking forward to a big crowd involved in a women’s grand final,” she said.

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Wanderers lost only one of their 12 qualifiers, which was to Sporties in October, but they were two players short and without Layne Gillingham, Abby Green and Charli Bidwell.

They also tied a game against CVN but were again two players short and missing Meg Spalding and Olivia Bidwell.

Both were before Sam Biddiscombe returned.

“We’ve had challenges with numbers this season but someone makes a difference, which is why we’ve had success,” Olivia Bidwell said. “Having Sammy back is definitely a plus, on the field and off it.

“Our batters and bowlers won’t stray from what we’ve been doing and I’m confident. I’ll tell my girls to play as they do every week, with all their heart and effort.”

Sporties’ Jo Walker said the fact Hatch has work commitments was a blow but opens the door for another player.

“A huge loss but an opportunity for someone to step up,” Walker said.

“Wanderers are an amazingly talented team under a new captain in Olivia but we match up well against them.

“If we can get a good score on the board, and we must be a bit daring and take on their bowlers, our bowlers can restrict them.

“We can’t have the same approach as the past two grand finals, didn’t work so we have some plans.”

Walker is also delighted the season decider will be a night game, with play to start at 6pm.

“Great innovation, the bar will be open and hopefully people will get along and watch,” she said.

Men’s cricket in the Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League continues on Saturday with Towns versus Sportsmans at the Rec while Wanderers face CVN at Mazzuchelli Oval.

B-Grade: Wan v Twn (GBSC); Spo v CVN (Wonthella); BP v Don (Muir).

GRAND FINAL KEY PLAYERS

Wanderers: Olivia and Charli Bidwell, Meg Spalding, Abby Green, Kasey Maynard, Ashlyn Thompson, Layne Gillingham, Sam Biddiscombe.

Sporties: Jo Walker, Stacey Jerrard, Belinda Burrows, Isabelle and Ruby MacPherson, Amanda Gundry, Sarah Prickett, Jess Wake, Stacey McCartney.

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