Plenty Valley’s season ended with both disappointment and a sense of a achievement in Victorian Women’s Premier Cricket.
The Bats made finals for the first time since 2010-11, showing how far they had come in recent years.
They beat every team during the regular season.
Coach Adam Drinkwell is justifiably proud.
“It’s a pleasing season to see where we have come from as a playing group,” he said.
“We’re tracking in the right direction and we know that it won’t all happen overnight.
“It’s another step to get our team to be where we wanted.”
The Bats’ season ended on Sunday when they lost to minor premier Prahran in a semi-final.
The Bats weren’t without their chances to grab a surprise grand final spot, but couldn’t get the job done in the end.
Prahran made 9-190 after being in trouble at 5-41. Melbourne Stars’ Alana King changed the innings with her 83.
In their run chase, the Bats were in control at 3-91 before crumbling to be all out for 138 in the 39th over.
The Bats’ cause wasn’t helped by having leading run scorer Sophie Reid do a hamstring while keeping.
Drinkwell said they would learn a lot out of the game.
“The girls were disappointed in the end,” he said. “They went out there expecting to win, considering their form.
“As a team throughout the year, the confidence and expectations have grown. We’re not out there just to compete – we want to have success as well.
“We were in the game at both ends. We were in front the first 20 overs and executed brilliantly.
“We were then tracking well with the bat, with the game in control, and lost a couple of wickets at the wrong time.”
Drinkwell said as well as the development of the team, there had been a lot of development in individuals.
He highlighted the work of Sophie Reid and Sophie Day, who have both been picked for a Futures tour of Sri Lanka.
Jasmine Nevins and Sam Hamilton cemented spots in the side, with Drinkwell saying they had been two of the biggest improvers.
“Jas is now one of our top six batters and she’s handy with the ball,” he said. “She keeps growing and growing.
“Sam is one of our oldest … and was an elite baseballer. She’s taken up cricket three years ago and gone from our thirds team into our firsts.”
The improvement for the Bats has flowed throughout the whole female program at the club, with the seconds and thirds also making finals.
The seconds were knocked out in the semi-finals and the third XI, made up mostly of new players, starts finals this week.
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