Plenty Valley is assured a finals berth in Victorian Women’s Premier Cricket one-day competition.
Two seasons after finishing last, the Bats secured a finals spot with one round remaining.
For the Bats and coach Adam Drinkwell, it’s a massive achievement.
It’ll be the Bats’ first finals appearance since the 2010-11 season, when the women’s competition was still known as the Victorian Women’s Cricket Association.
“It’s some reward for the players who have stuck around,” Drinkwell said.
“Players like Meagan Ciavarella, who has played more than 200 games, but hasn’t played many first XI finals.
“They’re the players who will enjoy it the most.
“We were bottom two years ago and now we’re sitting in the top four – that’s credit to the girls.”
The finals berth was clinched on the back of three straight wins. Drinkwell said it had been a long time since the side had won three one-dayers in row and the players were delivering more consistency.
“Since Christmas, that is something we’ve really worked on,” he said.
“I’m very pleased with the way they are playing at the moment and they are enjoying their cricket.”
Against Carlton-Brunswick on Saturday, the Bats put in their best batting performance of the season, making 7-205.
“The aim was to bat for the whole 50 overs,” Drinkwell said.
“Once again, we had contributions all round. Sophie Reid played well for a 50 and Sophia Field made 34.
“They had a 100-run partnership. Kiara Jones and Jasmine Nevins then finished it off.
“It was a team batting performance and it was different players from last week.
“Everyone is chipping in when they need to.”
Carlton-Brunswick’s run chase started slowly and it was below the required run rate for most of the day.
Once the Bats broke through for their first wicket, they got on a role, eventually bowling Carlton-Brunswick out for 141 in the final over.
“Once we got the first breakthrough we took 10-80,” Drinkwell said.
“We were pretty disciplined and took the opportunities when they came up.”
The Bats’ second XI has also qualified for finals and will host a semi-final this week against Box Hill.
The third XI has moved back into finals contention with a massive win against Gisborne.
The Bats made 3-303 on the back of 100s to Jasleen Kaur and Alexandra Price.
They then bowled the Dragons out for 16.
On Thursday night, the Bats women’s sides will play in a T10 match involving one of their sponsors, Bendigo Bank Diamond Creek.
Special guests are expected to be in attendance.