The Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s girls competition continues to grow.

What started three years ago with less than 20 girls for some skills sessions, is now a fully fledged competition with two different age groups.

GDCA girls cricket co-ordinator Angela Dempsey is thrilled with the response to the competition.

“We have 10 teams, four in the under-12s and six in the under-15s,” she said.

“Last year we had 48 girls come and play at a central location and we’ve now got close to 80 girls representing their clubs, which is a great increase.

“The biggest thing is the girls want to play. We had to cancel Friday night and all the parents were asking about a catch-up round as the girls don’t want to miss out on games.”

Riddell and Bacchus Marsh have two teams each, while Rupertswood, Gisborne, Hanging Rock, Woodend, Wallan and Kyneton have all fielded teams.

Dempsey said some clubs, which only have one team, are already thinking about getting a second team up for next season.

Gisborne has had success with its under-15 side and is looking to field a second team.

Gisborne’s Gary Sanders, who has long been involved with women’s and girl’s cricket, said it had been exciting to be a part of.

“Jake McIntyre, who is a PE teacher, got a side together for a Gisborne Primary School,” Sanders said. “They were pretty keen to keep playing and are now playing for Gisborne in this competition.”

The school team competed in the finals of the Central Highlands T20 school competition, missing out on the final by percentage.

In the GDCA competition, Sanders said all the girls were making contributions. The Dragons have one win from their three matches, which also includes a draw.

“Monty Paton has made 43 runs and taken three wickets and Natasha Ward has made 15 runs and taken five wickets,” Sanders said.

“Zoe Phillips, Caitlyn Wagstaff and Olivia Murray have each taken wickets, while Zoe Smyth, Lily Reid, Imogen Withington and Ebony Spiteri have contributed runs in different games.”

Dempsey said any players, or even clubs that wanted to put in teams, could play in the second half of the season which starts in February.