Cricket: Naps-Sebas flying with new young players

LIZ Drake has had a ball in her first season of open-age women’s cricket.

While her career will be put on hold when she takes up a position in the Army soon, Drake remains part of the new breed at Napoleons-Sebastopol.

The 19-year-old, a regular member of Central Highlands’ girls state championship teams in the past, has helped the club during a successful campaign in the Victorian Women’s Cricket Association premier seconds competition.

Naps-Sebas will tomorrow battle out the Twenty20 grand final against Brighton District in Dandenong before backing up on Sunday for the final home-and-away round of the one-day season against Box Hill, where it remains on top of the ladder.

Drake, who played in the Highlanders’ under-18 girls state final defeat on the MCG 0two years ago, said it had been great to get back on the field after a year away from the game.

“I just had one year off because I got too old (for juniors) and didn’t even think about going to Naps-Sebas, but then I got there and it’s been pretty good,” Drake, a former East Ballarat player, said.

“I’ve found it really good because a lot of the girls that play have been around for about 10 years and they help out all of the youngsters.

“I think I have improved.”

The former Loreto College student is one of more than half a dozen new players under 21 who arrived at the club in 2012-13.

Naps-Sebas is now hoping it can gather enough new faces for a second team next season and eventually become strong enough to progress to the premier firsts competition.

Drake had some encouraging words for any girls looking for a game.

“Definitely have a crack. It’s great to keep active and the club is really good,” she said.

“The club is just great and they are all just so welcoming. When I come back I’ll hopefully get a spot back in the team.”

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