NEMINGHA’S Lara Graham and Narrabri West’s Alyssa Ford warmed up for next month’s Australian Girls’ PSSA Cricket Championships with starring roles for their sides in yesterday’s state knockout regional final at Nemingha.
Graham’s Nemingha side turned it on, producing a commanding performance with bat and ball to wrest the silverware from Narrabri West’s grasp.
After restricting the visitors to 4-82 from their 25 overs, they chased down the runs inside 15 overs and without losing a wicket.
The win was extra sweet for the Nemingha girls, with Narrabri West having beaten them in the past three finals.
Things didn’t start well for the defending champs, with Nemingha opener and NSW rep Graham on a hat-trick in the first over.
Importantly too, Nemingha coach David Lewis said, they were two of Narrabri’s North West contingent.
They never really recovered despite the best efforts of Ford.
She top-scored with 43 retired.
Sister Caitlyn also chipped in with 10, and helped Alyssa steady the innings after those early losses – the siblings putting on 54 for the third wicket.
Kyah Cornish also batted well at the end and remained unbeaten on 11.
Graham went on to finish with 2-10 from her five while fellow opener Bella Collier claimed 1-12.
Isabella Cameron also did a great job with the ball, going for just six runs from her five overs and bowling three maidens.
“Their bowling and fielding was fantastic,” Lewis said.
He was particularly impressed with their fielding.
They only conceded two byes and 14 extras in the innings.
Narrabri coach Trudi Ford also remarked on the Nemingha fielding.
“The best thing they did was field well,” Ford said.
“They really shut down the runs.”
Off the last five overs they were only able to score two or three runs.
She said those two quick wickets at the start really set them back.
In their previous games, they have had a good opening partnership and then been able to build off that.
Nemingha didn’t have the same trouble, with Graham and Sofia Arranz taking 19 off the first three overs.
Graham capped a strong all-round performance with 40 while Arranz hit 32.
Mackenzie Russell was the best of the Narrabri bowlers with 0-10.
The win puts Nemingha into the state last eight.