Hoppers Crossing caused the shock of the Women’s Community Cricket north-west one-day season with a stunning eight-run win over minor premier Geelong in a semi-final at Belmont Common on Saturday.
The underdog Cats got it together on the day to inflict a boilover on previously undefeated Geelong and grab a grand final berth.
Hoppers Crossing won the toss and batted, cashing in on a favourable deck to make a competitive 143 in 38 overs.
The Cats’ innings was kick-started by Kayla Koropeckyj, who made 32, her highest score since January.
Koropeckyj featured in two 30-run partnerships – one with Taylah Steadman (14), the other with Shannon Wilde (nine), to lay a platform for a strong total. The middle order was strong for the Cats, too, with captain Brianna Herman (19), Odette Lopez (28) and Madalyn Smith (23) all providing valuable runs.
A lower-order collapse of 5-5 cost Hoppers Crossing two overs and an even bigger score, but the runs they had scored proved
Geelong needed to score at a rate of 3.57 runs an over to win, but came up just short, finishing its allotted 40 overs on 5-135.
All the credit goes to the Hoppers Crossing bowlers, who bowled tight lines most of the way. Smith was undoubtedly the pick of the Cats’ bowlers, taking 4-25 off 10 overs.
Her bowling and late-innings contribution with the bat clearly made her the player of the match.
Hoppers Crossing will face second-ranked Craigieburn in the grand final.
Can the Cats produce another upset, against a Craigieburn side with just one blemish to its name all season?