A record 13 ACT Meteors turned out across second and third grade in ACT Premier Cricket on Saturday, the most female players ever to play men's cricket in Canberra.
Meteors and Weston Creek-Molonglo keeper Erica Kershaw described the feat as incredible, as her side managed a comfortable seven-wicket win over Eastlake in their second-grade fixture at Kingston Oval.
"It is really exciting, it is something we really enjoy doing, getting out in Canberra culture and having a game," Kershaw said.
"It is really good it lines up this year. It is a bit of a silver lining for not being able to go to Sydney, a lot of our girls travel up there. So, it is nice for us to stay home and have a bit of a relax as well, and to get a Sunday off and not having to drive three-and-a-half hours to Sydney. We are all really excited about it."
Kershaw was not required with the bat, as a 40 not out from second drop batsman Peter Radford, along with a 33 from Shaun Kimber helped guide Creek past Eastlake's total of 157 in the 34th over.
But she said it was fantastic to spend plenty of game time behind the stumps ahead of the WNCL, set to begin on January 27.
"It was good to get out in the field, I haven't done 50 overs of keeping in a long time," she said.
"I think for all of us it is dusting cobwebs off from the last three weeks. It is really nice to get out and have a beautiful day as well and to get a good game of cricket in. It was also nice to get exposed to some quicker bowling, that we don't always get at training, which really pushes you."
Incumbent Meteors skipper Angela Reakes would also step out alongside Kershaw for Creek, taking 2-23 with the ball.
"It was nice to get 10 overs out. We have been playing some shorter-form cricket lately, so it is good to play the 50-over game," Reakes said.
"Luckily, the pitch was turning a bit. Eastlake came back pretty well with the bat, I thought at the start when we got a few early wickets that it might be an early day. But it ended up being a full day's cricket and a few batters made good starts which was nice to see. I think it was a pretty even contest."
Reakes said it was pivotal for the Meteors to get as much game time in as possible before they began their campaign, with teammates Carly Leeson and Allison McGrath also taking the field for Eastlake.
"It is absolutely priceless [in terms of preparation] and we pride ourselves on how much we get into the community, we absolutely love coming and playing with the Creek boys," Reakes said.
"They are really supportive of us and any game time we get is priceless, so we are super lucky."
In men's first grade action, Wests' Nicholas Broes took 4-4 to help inspire an eight-wicket win over North Canberra-Gungahlin (106). An unbeaten 95 from Daniel Leerdam wasn't enough to help ANU (199) as Ginninderra's Ethan Fitzpatrick (5-31) and Rhys Healy (86no) helped pilot a seven-wicket win. At Stirling Oval, Weston Creek Molonglo (4-238) easily reeled in Eastlake's 8-237 with six overs to spare, while Tyler Van Luin (5-24) routed Tuggeranong Valley for just 112, a target Queanbeyan reached with five wickets in hand.