Woori schoolgirls impress in their Qld cricket debut
CRICKET: Rockhampton's Tamika Hansen starred for the Queensland women's team which came agonisingly close to winning the National Indigenous Cricket Championships.
The team fell just five runs short of breaking New South Wales' eight-year stranglehold on the title in a nail-biting grand final in Alice Springs on Monday.
Woorabinda's Rhianon Adams, Marzena Oakley and Shaniqua Miller were also in the line-up, which made history as the first all-Queensland team to play at the championships.
The talented teenagers flew back in to Rockhampton on Wednesday night, clearly excited about making their Queensland debuts.
They all agreed it was a fantastic experience and that the highlight was being involved in the epic grand final.
NSW batted first, making 134 runs off the back of an impressive showing by Sara Darney who top-scored with 59.
Hansen claimed the wicket of the explosive opener just before the total ticked over to triple figures, and finished her spell with 2-22.
She also chimed in with a valuable 21 runs with the bat as Queensland went on to finish its innings at 9-129.
But it was in the semi-final against the Northern Territory where Hansen really shone.
Her off-spin had the batters bamboozled and she tore through their line-up to finish with the remarkable figures of 6-4.
Team manager Caitlin McBaron said it was an amazing performance from the Queenslanders, who met for the first time at the airport when they flew in for the championships.
"The final went down to the last over which was really exciting. It's the first time New South Wales has really been pushed,” she said.
"Our team is quite young which is promising looking ahead. If we can keep that base together and grow their experience it will certainly be good for Queensland's prospects.”
McBaron said the three Woorabinda girls were a "tremendous addition” to the team.
"They did extremely well through the tournament. They batted and bowled well and we are all very proud of them.”
She also had some glowing praise for Hansen, who played an integral role in the team's success.
"In our semi-final against the Northern Territory, she got 6-4 which is unbelievable and in one of the other games she got a five-for.
"She was a force with the bat as well. She opened with Carly Fuller and they had a strong partnership and definitely gave us a strong start in all the games,” McBaron said.