St Anthonys continues to develop in the CV Women’s Community Cricket’s north west one-day competition.

Fielding a women’s side for the first time, the Saints have impressed with their rapid improvement.

Coach Warren Haffenden said he was shocked to see how far they had come.

“I said to the president at the start I’m not fussed if we don’t win a game. For me to see them improve from when they started until the end is the main thing.

“Spectators coming to watch the game keep saying that they have got better every week.

“They are really enjoying it and wins are a bonus.”

Haffendon, who took on the coaching role to ease the pressure of the men’s coaches who were coaching the side, said all the players were willing to learn.

With his wife Jacqueline Haffenden captain of the side, he said it made sense to take on the role.

He said most of the players had either played indoor cricket or cricket with the kids in the backyard.

“We started with 10 or 11 players and it stayed that way for a while. We’ve managed to pick up four or five players.

“While I’ve never coached girls before, I’ve coached indoor juniors.

“The biggest difference I’ve found is the girls want to learn and they ask for help.

“Getting them to learn is half the battle.”

So keen are the players to improve, most are doing extra training sessions on top of the two team training sessions each week.

“There’s a Facebook group and someone will post in it most days they’re going down to the nets and normally four or five players turn up.”

The Saints have one win from their opening four games.

On Sunday, they produced their highest score of the season, but it wasn’t enough against Melton Centrals. Centrals made 2-231 off its overs, with the Saints making 5-176 in reply.

Haffenden said different players were standing up each week.

“They’re still getting used to playing outdoor cricket and playing in those conditions,” he said. “Our top three or four with the bat are pretty strong and we had a couple of players make 30s against Gisborne.

“One person is making a contribution with the bat each week. The wickets are being shared around which is really good.”

Haffenden said while they had enough for a team, anyone interested is welcome at training.