A number of regional cricketers will have the state and national spotlight turned on them this weekend.
The under-14 male and under-16 female Northern Rivers squads will play for state championships on Sunday, while Tallygaroopna product Teagan Brett will stride out onto the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the same day in a match set to be live-streamed to the nation.
●A superior bowling performance paved the way for the youngest Rivers team to finish top of its pool last week.
The squad conceded just 201 runs in three matches to take pole position — despite losing one of its clashes.
In a quarter-final fixture against Western Waves, the side compiled an impressive 9-154 batting first before toppling the opposition for just 129.
The brilliant bowling from the group continued in the semi-final, remarkably defending a paltry 62 against Barwon to book a place in the decider.
Local players who have done battle at the tournament so far include Tongala’s Mackenzie Cowley (a team-high 94 runs at an average of 18.8 and three wickets at 4.3), Mooroopna gloveman Josh Robertson (74 runs at 24.7, three catches, one stumping and a hand in seven run-outs), Rochester Tigers trio Kobyn James (36 runs at nine), Austin Reinehr (17 runs at 4.3) and Waugh George (37 runs at 7.4 and five wickets at 13.4), Euroa’s Fletcher Paul (26 runs at 8.7 and one wicket for no runs) and Cobram’s Hugh Hyde (12 runs at 12, eight wickets at 9.5).
Sunday’s grand final against Metro South East Bayside begins from 9.30am at Greenvale Reserve.
●The under-16 girls will take on Metro Inner East at Box Hill City Oval after qualifying on January 11.
Shepparton United duo Lilly Bond and Helena Hosie, Puckapunyal’s Madison Albers, Central Park-St Brendan’s product Arnika McGregor, Karramomus’ Tegbir Kaur and Jerilderie pair Mardie Hamilton and Lucy Simpson will all chase state glory with the squad.
McGregor has been busy in between matches though, with representing Victoria Country at the under-15 National Championships in South Australia.
The rising star only hit 14 runs from two knocks, but snared 10 wickets at an average of 11.5 apiece (ranked fifth for the tournament) with the ball.
Euroa’s Georgia Gall (50 runs at 12.5 and six wickets at 18.3) joined McGregor and Yea Tigers duo Abby Christie (four wickets at 10.5) and Ruby O’Dwyer (28 runs at seven) at the championships.
●Brett’s dreams of playing on the MCG will be realised at 3.30pm on Sunday.
The Northerners export has been named in the Perry XII for the WBBL exhibition clash, which will follow a contest between the Melbourne Stars and Hobart Hurricanes.
Entry to the match is free, while the game will be streamed on Cricket Australia’s website.