Best in the Business

Sale-Maffra Under 17 Girls Junior Country Week premiership winning team: Sam Anstee (coach), Madi Nicholas, Matilda Berns, Maddie Winter, Reegan Leeson, Ash Murtagh, Milla Grattan, Lily May Lyndon (front) Gemma Bruce, Kirrily Bruce, Acacia Sutton and Jazz Anstee. Photo: Contributed

Liam Durkin

WHEN you win player of the carnival, you can wear orange crocs.

Sale-Maffra completed an unbeaten campaign in the Under 17 Girls Junior Country Week last Wednesday, taking home the Sophie Molineux Trophy.

The trophy is named after the current Victorian and Melbourne Renegades captain, who grew up playing cricket in Bairnsdale.

Taking to Yinnar Recreation Reserve, the Sharks defeated Latrobe Valley and Leongatha District twice in two days to win the tournament.

Matches were a mixture of Twenty20s and 17-over-a-side games depending on starting time.

The side was captained by Kirrily Bruce (stepping in for the injured Matilda Pendergast), and Lily May Lyndon.

The first game saw Sale-Maffra restrict Latrobe Valley to 7/69 from 17 overs.
Acacia Sutton and Ash Murtagh took two wickets each.

The batting effort saw the Sharks pass the required total for the loss of two wickets.

Sutton remained not out on 21. Others to post runs were Matilda Berns (20 not out), Reegan Leeson (17 not out) and Gemma Bruce (16 not out).

Sale-Maffra was far too strong in the next game.

The Sharks elected to bat first upon winning the toss, and put together a total of 5/137 against Leongatha.

Kirrily Bruce top-scored on 36. Maddie Winter (19) and Jazz Anstee (14 not out) also made contributions.

The Sharks were then miserly with the ball, allowing their opponents to score just 35 runs in 20 overs.

Winter backed-up her efforts from earlier, and took 2/2 with the new ball.

Returning for competition the next day, Sale-Maffra was again too strong for Leongatha.

Batting first again, the Sharks closed at 5/109 off their allotted 17 overs.

Bruce led the charge with 24 not out.

The Sharks maintained their discipline with the ball from the previous day, this time, only allowing Leongatha to score 29 runs from their overs.

Sutton was the chief-destroyer, taking 4/6.

The final game saw Sale-Maffra bat first again, and they closed at 5/105 off their 20 overs against Latrobe Valley.

Leeson did the bulk of the scoring, making 24 not out, receiving good support from Anstee (19 not out), and Murtagh (14 not out).

Latrobe Valley was never in the hunt, and could only manage 41 in reply.

Winer took three wickets, working in tandem with Lesson and Sutton who took two, and Nicholas and Berns, who returned ‘excellent’ figures of 1/3 off two overs.

Sutton won player of the carnival after totalling 57 runs at 28.5 and taking nine wickets.
Bruce was the side’s top run-scorer with 68 runs at 34.00.

Nicholas was awarded the spirit of cricket award for her exemplary attitude and effort.

The team paid tribute to late SMCA legend Neil Wrigglesworth, observing a minute silence on the Tuesday.

An all-star game picked from teams that competed in the carnival will be played in late March.