The Cripps Tasmanian Roar season has concluded and despite not taking part in the finals series the girls have had their most successful summer since inclusion in the competition.
The team had success in the shorter version of the game winning four matches in the WT20 competition, narrowly being edged out to claim 5th spot in their final match against the Queensland Fire.
The four wins came against Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and ACT with the biggest upset against last year’s champions Victoria where they scored a record score of 6-164. Another highlight was the girls’ final over win against Queensland prior to the Hobart Hurricanes match against the Adelaide Strikers in front of a big, vocal home crowd.
All-rounder Erin Burns was the team’s standout performer in the shorter format and was the 4th highest run scorer in the competition with 301 runs, her highest score- 90 off just 50 balls coming in the win against Victoria at Blundstone Arena was exceptional to watch.
Burns also picked up 11 wickets this season, second behind Linsey Da Costa (12 wickets), showing her true all-round ability and has definitely made the Australian selectors glance Tasmania’s way. Emma Thompson also made the top ten in the T20 batting stakes, making 265 runs to be 9th highest run scorer in the competition.
Although the team did not record a victory in the longer form of the game they were unlucky in several games, taking it up to teams packed with Australian players but just falling at the final hurdle. Most notably was their match against a Southern Stars filled New South Wales' side where the girls came agonisingly close to the upset of the season.
Coach Jade Selby said the team will only get better in big moments in tight games in the future with more experience under their belt and finishing off games is something the side will be looking at getting better for next year.
Despite no wins there was again some good individual efforts in the 50 over game with Captain Veronica Pyke leading the way in the run stakes with 151 runs to put her in the ‘all-rounder’ category whilst Burns’ again featured making 128 runs and claimed the highest wicket taker for the Roar taking 8 with best figures of 4-36 which also got her in the Top 10 best bowlers of the WNCL. Linsey Da Costa also backed up her efforts in the T20 competition and took 7 wickets with 3-50 her best bowling figures.
There were also some new faces to the squad this year with wicket-keeper Tayla Kafoa joining the squad this year from NSW and enjoying her time with her adopted state. Local Kingborough duo Sasha Maloney and Emily Divin also made an impact and successfully made the transition from grade cricket to national league level with Divin, the wife of former Tasmanian Tiger Mark, working her way into the team despite not being on the initial Cripps Roar list. It was also pleasing to see talented youngster, 16-year old Meg Phillips continue to blossom as a player to watch in the future.
Further to this our Tasmanian A side were successful against Western Australia in Perth in the Emerging Series program, giving the girls on the brink of Cripps Roar selection a taste of what to expect at the next level.The progress for the Roar this season has been great to see and with the team’s support staff boosted by the likes of former Tasmanian Tigers Michael Dighton and Rhett Lockyear alongside Alex King and former Australian player Kim Fazackerley the girls have seen more success this year than any season before. With much confidence knowing the side can defeat the bigger states and with an aggression to get better each year, the girls are in good stead for a big season in 2013-14.