The six women’s Premier Firsts clubs have formed a new competition consisting of their Second XI’s – Women’s Premier Reserves. Round One sees Dandenong taking on Prahran, Melbourne traveling to the Mervyn G Hughes Oval to take on EMP, while Box Hill play Plenty Valley at Schramms Reserve. All three matches start at 12pm.
Dandenong had a tough season in the Premier Seconds competition last season, finishing at the bottom of the ladder with just two wins. The Lions have shown their intent through the key signing of Nicole Magnuson from Brighton who was the third leading run-scorer last season, with 541 runs at 54.10.
Prahran’s Second XI also had a disappointing season in finishing tenth, though there were some standout individual performances. Ava Bennett was their most reliable player, and was the tenth leading wicket-taker of the competition with 17 at an average of 20.
EMP will be looking to build on last season’s sixth place and have retained most of their players including a string of reliable bowlers. Scarlett Saxon-Jones, Paris Rafferty, Chloe Rafferty and Michelle Tan each took 10 wickets last year and improved tallies could see EMP climb the ladder.
Melbourne had a good 2015/16 finishing fourth. It was their captain and wicketkeeper, Charlotte Killeen, who made a big difference to the side as the competition’s tenth leading run scorer with 352 at an average of 35.20. MCC won the T20 title last season and would certainly be aiming for the double this year.
Box Hill were also near the bottom of the ladder in eighth even with Chloe Ip and Amy Jennings finishing the season as the ninth and 12th leading run-scorers respectively. Ip racked up 354 with a top score of 112 not out, while Jennings made 303 at 27.55. Box Hill need their bowlers to give more support to a strong batting line-up if they are to claim a finals spot.
Plenty Valley finished seventh last season after seven wins. The club has a new head women’s coach in Kim Littlejohn who already appears to be pushing for a more professional approach to the game with the First XI which might well be adopted in the Seconds. Last season’s top performers were Jessica Karamoshou who made 184 runs at 26.29 and Emma Sands who took 13 wickets at 15.77.
With just six teams in this new competition it will be interesting to see how the sides fare and which club makes history with the first title.
Written by Georgia Isaac