Ladies cricket is one of the worlds fastest growing female sports. One of our star Austrian players, Andrea Mae-Zepeda, was invited to take part at an Italian Ladies Cricket Tournament, which took place near Bologna, Italy, from 1st to 3rd May 2015. Andrea is a long time player at Austria Cricket Club and coach and leader of SNASY’s Austrian girls/women’s cricket. She, plus three girls from the UK and a girl from Hungary, were invited to join the Stone Tower Cricket Club as ‘guest players’ and participated with 8 Italian players and contributed to a great team performance in the tournament.
The tournament was held in Medicina on two excellent pitches. It was played in the Twenty20 format with 2 groups. There were a lot of beginners, who had only recently started Cricket, and so the tournament focussed a lot on development, support and coaching.
The participating clubs were:
King Grove Padova Roma Genoa 1893
Olimpia Postioma Padova 2014 Roma Capannelle Stone Tower
Stone Tower’s first match took place on 1 May at 3pm against their strongest group rivals Roma. With 2 – 3 National Team players in the Roma team, a tough context was expected, and so it proved to be. Stone Tower won the toss and decided to bowl first. The opening bowlers, Claudia Balogh and Andrea Mae-Zepeda were able to keep the opponents in check and captain Sara Begg exerted a lot of pressure with her excellent off-spin bowling. Similarly, S. J. Pasquarella, Ellison and Elsbury did their best to limit the runs. Roma posted a challenging 131/2 (20 overs) and at the start of the second innings, the wickets fell quickly. This however was stemmed by a magnificent partnership between Sara Begg and Claudia Balogh. With 34 and 56 and a total partnership of 112 runs, the highest of the whole tournament, Stone Tower reached the target in the penultimate over – 133/3 off 18.1 overs and so Stone Tower won by 7 wickets.
The second game was at 9am on the second morning against King Grove, a Milan based side. As in the first match, the “European” team bowled first. The Milan side had a lot of new players and so much of the game included helpful and friendly advice given to the King Grove players, who seemed very grateful for it. King Grove ended on 93/6 and Stone Tower scored 99/4 – both teams parted in good spirits.
The third game was against Padova. Again, the opposition batted first. Andrea had her best match so far, taking 3 wickets for only 2 runs off her 4 overs and then an additional catch in Gemma Elsbury’s over. There was also a great catch by Rachele Martini, who only started cricket 4 months ago – showing that the new comers also had much to contribute in this team sport.
The performances so far took Stone Tower to the final, which was played against the very strong Olympia Postioma, boasting 7 Italian national team players. This was to be the most difficult match of the tournament playing against a well prepared team. For the first time, Stone Towers batted first. Early wickets were lost and it was left to Sara Begg and Andrea Mae-Zepeda, who were the only experienced players left. With skilful interplay, they managed to keep the scoreboard going, building an innings with singles and occasional boundaries, but unfortunately the 6 wicket fell in the 18th over with an unfortunate LBW. The less experienced players found it hard against the quality of the Olympian attack and 3 further wickets were lost ending the innings with 94/9. In spite of some good bowling by Stone Tower, Olympia’s batsmen were too strong and they scored the runs required to win.
Despite losing in the final, the Stone Tower team were in a good spirits. No champagne from the trophy this time, but there were celebrations for being together and for the success, which has been achieved.
Stone Tower CC Players:
- Jane Pasquarella (Italy)
- Sarah Jane Pasquarella (Italy)
- Letizia Martini (Italy)
- Rachele Martini (Italy)
- Fabrizio Giulia (Italy)
- Victoria Di-Castro Horn (Italy)
- Agnieszka Peret (Italy)
- Alessia Mazzoni (Italy)
- Sara Begg (UK)
- Charlotte Ellison (UK)
- Gemma Elsbury (UK)
- Claudia Balogh (Hungary)
- Andera-Mae Zepeda (Austria)
(Andrea is on the front row, far left)
It is hoped to be a part of this great tournament again next year and to have a larger number of Austrian’s participating.
A big “Thank You” goes to the Austria Cricket Association for its support and also to the organizers of the Stone Tower Cricket Club, Alessandro R. Sabelli (Director) and Giorgio Sabelli (Co-Director), and all the fans who actively supported the team.
If you are interested in getting involved or even having a go at girls/women’s cricket in Austria, please contact cricket @snasy.institute or firstname.lastname@example.org