Wanderers favourites for Geraldton women’s cricket flag but will face toughest opponents in Sportsmans

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
In-form bowler Ashlyn Thompson takes a wicket for Wanderers.
Camera IconIn-form bowler Ashlyn Thompson takes a wicket for Wanderers. Credit: Colin Sherman/Geraldton Guardian

The Geraldton women’s cricket champions will be crowned this Sunday and Wanderers are the red-hot favourites for the flag.

But to get there the runaway minor premiers will play Sportsmans in the Young Motors Women’s Cricket League final, the team that inflicted their only loss this season.

The game starts at 2pm at GBSC3.

The question for Sporties will be whether they can get enough runs in their 20 overs.

Wanderers’ stacked team includes Sam Biddiscombe, who has 25 wickets at 3.32, Ashlyn Thompson (17 at 4.82) and women’s cricketer of the year Olivia Bidwell (17 at 6.76).

Should that trio somehow be off colour, Wanderers captain Linda Rose also has Abby Green and Meg Spalding (a combined 10 wickets at 10.60) to call on..

Wanderers’ batting features Bidwell, who has 433 runs at 48.11, Biddiscombe (283 at 31.44) and Spalding (210 at 26.25).

Green, Layne Gillingham and Charli Bidwell have topped 100 runs.

“Grand finals are always different, so there’ll be nerves, but I want us to enjoy the occasion,” Rose said.

“We’ve worked consistently hard and (coach) Bruce Gillingham has helped all of us improve.

“All I’ll ask is we play our game. It’s taken three long seasons to come from last place to where we are now . . . Sporties have depth and Jo Walker is a smart captain, so we have to be ready for anything.”

Sportsmans’ best bowler has been captain Walker (18 wickets at 8.72), supported by Tia Hatch (11 at 15.63), Hayley Criddle (11 at 19.00), and Sarah Prickett (9 at 18.11).

With the bat, there’s Stacey Jerrard (158 runs at 19.75), Prickett (173 at 19.22) and Walker (135 at 33.75), while Belinda Burrows and Stacey McCartney have ability.

Walker said the sides matched up well enough and Hatch and Criddle were great opening bowlers, while Gundry and Jerrard would fight at the top of order and help set her side up.

“Our win over Wanderers was on turf but we’re the only team that’s beaten them and the last time we met we kept them to 106 runs,” she said.

“Do that again and it’s game on — the pressure is on them.

“It’s a grand final and we’re going to enjoy it.”

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