We’ve already been treated to a week of cracking cricket at the Western NSW Under 13 Carnival, and now we’re due for an even bigger one.
With twelve boys’ teams and six girls’ set to take part in the Western NSW Under 15 iteration, there’ll be one more match a day than the under 13s.
And the Western girls’ side is looking set to make some waves on their home turf – or as close to home turf as they can get.
With players from Orange and Blayney, plenty are close to home, but some players are from as far abroad as Condobolin, Dubbo and even Broken Hill.
They’ll be led by former under 15’s player Alana Ryan, who is set for her first time behind the wheel coaching, taking over from girls’ cricket stalwart Andrew Litchfield, who will be in Adelaide as his daughter Phoebe represents ACT/NSW Country at Nationals.
The younger Litchfield will be a big loss for the side, but coach Ryan is hoping they’ll overcome it.
“I think we’re looking alright, out team has some experience and I think we’ll be quite competitive.”
“As a team this is probably out first time together but this is the first time we’ve played together but they’ve had training together at Western academy.”
They’ll be up against teams from far and wide, with one side coming down from Brisbane, where girls’ cricket has taken off in recent years.
“It’ll be interesting to see what the standard is, I don’t think any of these girls have played against a side from Brisbane before,” Ryan said.
“We’ll have the home town advantage and it’s nice not to travel and not have to pay for accommodation, and it’s good to have it in Orange and it’s good for the town.”
Ryan said captain Abbie Uhr was set to do well with the bat, while Katie Fletcher was “very handy” with the gloves behind the stumps.
Ryan also said the side had plenty of bowling options to pick from, which she was exited by.
Skipper Uhr said she the tournament should be “really good fun”.
“It’s the same girls that are moving up and they’re a great bunch of girls to play with and it should be really good,” she said.
Uhr is from Blayney, and is looking forward to staying at home for a tournament for a change – having been to Raymond Terrace last year.
She’s also looking forward to having some familiar faces on other teams, having got to know opposition players in the past few years.
Western kick off their campaign on Monday against Penrith at Jack Brabham Park, then play Brisbane at Sharpe Oval at Kinross before their final pool game against Riverina on Wednesday.
Finals will be played on Thursday.
In the boys’ competition, Orange has its own side who will play Western Sydney Stars on Monday, Wakatipu High School from New Zealand on Tuesday and then St George.