Navy women cricketers make Defence history

Published on LCDR Darren Mallett (author), CPL Aaron Curran (photographer)

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Able Seaman Sarah Beard square cuts during her unbeaten innings of  72 (photo: CPL Aaron Curran)
Able Seaman Sarah Beard square cuts during her unbeaten innings of 72

The Australian Defence Force Cricket carnival has concluded with Navy Women creating history as the inaugural winners of the ASCA national inter service women’s cricket trophy, defeating Army Women in a closely fought T20 final.

Led by Lieutenant Commander Jenn Macklin, Navy women chased down a formidable target of 130 runs with two wickets to spare. Able Seaman Sarah Beard, who was named as women’s player of the carnival was unbeaten on 72 runs as she guided the Navy side home for the win in the last over.

“This was a great result for Navy, but even more so for women’s cricket,” said Lieutenant Commander Macklin.

 Navy women’s coach, Warrant Officer Gary Fuss, was over the moon with the enthusiasm and commitment of his women’s team.

 “This week has been fantastic. The women have formed a team for the first time as Navy reps and our entire squad has integrated with the men’s touring party with each squad supporting the other,” he said.

 “The women have developed as players this week and to bring home the trophy over Army and a very good RAAF team was the icing on the cake.”


Navy keeper PO Luke Grimmond appeals against Army batsman PTE Ryleigh Egan

Navy keeper PO Luke Grimmond appeals against Army batsman PTE Ryleigh Egan

After their exciting last ball win over Army in the 50 over Lindsay Hassett trophy final, Navy men narrowly lost to Army in the Angus Houston T20 final.

Setting Army a competitive 155 runs to win, the Navy boys protected the total until the 18th over when Army still needed 19 runs off 12 balls to win. Unfortunately Chisholm number 2 ground could not contain the Army batters and a series of boundaries left Army just 4 runs to get off the final over, a target achieved off the first ball of the 20th over for an Army win.

Navy coach, Lieutenant Commander Guy Lewis was still thrilled with the performance of the team, especially newcomer opening batsman Able Seaman Chris Tormay who followed up his 74 against RAAF with a punishing 89 in the T20 final.

“The future is bright for Navy cricket and we are looking forward to an international carnival in 2015 with up to ten men’s and eight women’s teams competing in the International Defence Cricket Challenge in Canberra this time next year,” he said.

Navy players were recognised for their stellar carnival performances with six reps in both the men’s and women’s squads for the upcoming mini tour and rep games.

Navy men’s reps are Able Seamen Chris Tormay, Al Kristensen, Colin Searson, Hari Bhandari, Paul Britt and Seaman Corey Evans.

Women’s reps are Lieutenant Georgina Rae, Leading Seaman Natasha Wilson, Able Seamen Sarah Beard, Samantha Weir, Xanthe Gray and Carly Smith.