Kelly Rowlings of Mulwaree High School has captained the South Coast Region Combined High School’s (CHS) women’s cricket team to victory against teams from the nine other regions in NSW for the first time since 2001.
Bella Greig was also a member of this side which was coached by Mulwaree teacher, Dane Stevenson.
NSW CHS coordinator for the competition, Sally Curry who is also a teacher at Mulwaree, had to try and remain impartial as she watched the South Coast team come from a position of no real expectation of winning to having a real chance at the sought after trophy.
“South Coast was not a team of champion cricket players but they were certainly a champion team, with girls who were passionate about cricket and determined to be a cohesive team who worked together for each other,” Mrs Curry said.
“It was virtually impossible for them to organise regular training before this competition because, unlike some of the other regions, the team was drawn from schools over a wide area.”
One girl was from Bega, another from the Highlands, two plus the coach from Mulwaree and the rest from the South Coast from Wollongong to Bomaderry.
It was Kelly’s third year captaining the team and her last. The Year 12 student has been part of the regional team since Year 8.
Bella is in Year 9 and was first selected for the team when still in primary school, which is extremely unusual.
“We went into the competition without any real expectations other than to play our best as a team,” Kelly said.
“Mr Stevenson was a great motivator and really good coach who helped us to become a united team.
“It was only after our first couple of games we thought we had a real chance.”
The competition was a mix of T20 and 50-over games and the final was a 50-over game, in which they beat Hunter region, who were one of the favourites to win, by a very convincing margin. South Coast’s other big hurdle was Sydney West, considered the top Sydney side. That win gave the girls confidence in their ability to go all the way.
“It was a huge achievement for us all, including our coach,” Kelly said.