INVERELL’S Sarah Lennon bowled her way to her first baggy green and hopefully not her lastat Sydney this week.
The allrounder was celebrating on two fronts after her NSW side claimed back to back Christina Matthews Shields as the national U15 champions.
For her efforts over the championships, she was also named in the Team of the Championships, for which she received a baggy green.
“I was very shocked,” Lennon said.
NSW claimed the title by defeating Victoria in the final by 70 runs.
They went into the decider as underdogs after finishing second on the competition ladder at the end of the preliminary rounds and going down to Victoria by six wickets in the opening game of the championships.
“Not a lot went right for us,” Lennon said.
“But it all turned out well in the final.”
Batting first, NSW posted 9-153 from its 40 overs.
Openers Lauren Cheatle (25) and Ashley Day (22) got them off to a good start but a middle order collapse saw them slump to 8-97.
But Saskia Horley (31no) and Hannah Southwell (17) combined for a 49-run ninth wicket stand to get them to a defendable total.
With Victoria’s line-up featuring two of the tournament’s top run scorers, NSW needed a determined effort in the field.
Fortunately, they delivered one of their best performances of the competition to bowl their opposition out for 83.
Cheatle led the way with 2-7 off 4.2 overs with Horley (2-21) and Southwell (2-9) also claiming two wickets each.
NSW U15s head coach Sarah Aley, was delighted with the way her team improved throughout the competition.
“This was the first time that a lot of these girls had represented NSW and we looked nervous in our first few matches, but as the tournament went on we got better and the team produced a terrific performance in the final today,” Aley said.
Lennon was joined in the Team of the Championships by Cheatle, Yardley Polsen, Carly Leeson and Hannah Trethewy.
She said heading into the final they spoke about needing to come together as a team, which they did.
First with the bat.
“(9-153) We were quite happy with that,” she said.
“That was good confidence going out into the field.”
They then just picked up wickets when they needed them.
She said it was a great experience, and was pretty happy with how she performed.
She took nine wickets for the tournament.
One of those was the wicket of her identical twin sister Kate, who was playing for ACT.
Lennon (Sarah) was the leading wicket-taker in that game, finishing with figures of 4-13.
She didn’t have a lot of opportunities with the bat – only batting once.
That was a lot to do with the top and middle order, which batted very well.
Kate was co-captain of the ACT side.
It finished fourth after going down to South Australia in their play-off game.