Jess Davidson and Lara Graham will take to the crease for another national championships quest next week hoping to repeat the success of the last time they donned ACT/NSW Country colours together.
Two years ago the talented duo played starring roles as ACT/NSW Country claimed back-to-back under-15 national championships.
Last year Davidson helped them make it three-in-a-row after, alongside Graham, playing for the Cricket Australia XI at the under-18s nationals.
Next week they will swap the green and gold for the blue and gold of ACT/NSW Country as they look to defend their under-18s 50-over title.
Initially named as a reserve Graham, 16, has been called into the side for Gunnedah’s Zoe Fleming, who has had to withdraw due to injury.
She said making the side was a goal, but after missing the two selection camps - she was on the youth tour of England, Wales and France for one and at a family wedding the other - when the Country Championships were reduced (due to rain) from three days to just one she admittedly “didn’t think I’d make a reserve”.
“I was actually shocked,” she said.
From her conversations with head coach Troy McKiernan her understanding is that she will be used as a death bowler.
“He wants me to come on and tighten the runs up if needed,” she said.
“Considering I was pulled in I didn’t think I’d be playing a major role.”
It’s a role she is familiar with.
“I usually come on when there needs to runs tightened up,” she said.
Both girls are plying their trade in the local grade competition this season – Davidson with Bective East and Graham Wests, which she said has “been fun”.
“I haven’t played grade for a couple of years,” she said.
“I was playing in Sydney with Northern Districts but the distance was too hard.”
She was leaving Saturday morning and not getting back home until Sunday night.
Davidson, 15, expects to come on at first change, although she hasn’t been doing a lot of bowling for the Bulls, who she made her first grade debut for last season.
She has been playing more as a batsmen, batting at three.
So far though it has been a story of starts for the allrounder both for Bective and her Tamworth junior rep side.
“I’ve been getting a lot of 20s and 30s and having really gone on with it,” she said.
“(But) I feel like soon something may click.”
Both expect their NSW Metro counterparts, Queensland and the CA XI to be their biggest rivals but said there will be no easy games.
“I think it’s going to be a tough championships,” Graham said.
The championships get underway in Bendigo on Monday with the Twenty20 competition.
The 50-over games will be played the second week in Ballarat.