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Women’s cricket strides ahead

By Gary Caffell

The giant strides already made in the development of women’s cricket in the Wairarapa this season are about to get even bigger.

Following on from the inclusion of the Wairarapa Korus in the Central Districts senior women’s inter-provincial competition comes the news that a senior women’s inter-club series is to get underway here in
February.

Just how many teams will participate in the latter is still a work in progress but Wairarapa Cricket Association development and operations manager Simon Roseingrave expects there will be at least four.

Virtually guaranteed to be starters are three of the local colleges, Wairarapa Collegiate, St Matthew’s Collegiate and Solway College.

Both the Wairarapa College and St Matthew’s current first XIs are strong enough to be made up entirely of players from their own schools while the Solway College team will probably be supplemented by three of the Korus who have already indicated their willingness to play for them.

Roseingrave sees a fourth side consisting of the Korus players who are not associated with school teams plus any others who have played the game in the past and are now keen and able to be involved in a club competition.

That team, according to Roseingrave, would very probably not be connected with a club as such but organised under the auspices of the Wairarapa association itself.

“There aren’t many clubs with the resources to look after a side like that and it makes sense for the association to be involved for the first season just to make things easier for all concerned.”

Roseingrave is convinced that the growth in numbers of girls playing cricket in Wairarapa has been so great in recent times that sustaining a senior inter-club competition well into the future will not be difficult.

“We’re actually the envy of many of the bigger regions in this area of the game, and that’s not only in numbers but in quality as well.

“Our age group sides are all very competitive right now.”

Supporting that latter sentiment was the performance of the Wairarapa under-13 girls team in a Twenty20 fixture with Wellington just last weekend.

Normally games between these two provinces at any level — male or female — would be dominated by Wellington but on this occasion they were not only beaten by Wairarapa but by the comfortable margin of 40-plus runs.

“You have to be confident for the future of the women’s game here when results like that are being achieved, it’s really exciting for the Wairarapa,” Roseingrave said.

Meanwhile, the Wairarapa Korus will be defending the Copeman Challenge Trophy they snared with their upset win over Hawke’s Bay last month when they complete their CD inter-provincial competition schedule with a match against Whanganui in Whanganui on Sunday.

Unfortunately the Korus will be missing three of the players who were part of that victory, Karen Bracewell, Caitlin Elliott and Oralee Mauriri.

Bracewell and Elliott were key components of a solid batting effort there, Bracewell typically playing an anchorman role in the middle of the order and Elliott being her team’s top scorer.

Making their debuts for the Korus will be medium pace bowler Hattie Vincent and middle order batter Tahlia Jones-Dennes and returning to the side is Monique Graves.

The full Korus squad is: Esther Lanser (captain), Melissa Hansen, Gemma Sims, Annissa Greenlees, Kate Sims, Sinead Barrell, Rewa Pomare, Tahlia Jones-Dennes, Monique Graves, Georgia Atkinson, Olivia Roseingrave, Hattie Vincent.

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