Minor Premiers Campbelltown-Camden were awarded the Ruth Preddy Trophy for the second time in its history on Sunday after rain forced the McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket Grand Final to be abandoned.
The match against Gordon was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to the deluge of rain that inundated Blacktown International Sports Park No. 2.
The last time Campbelltown-Camden won the First Grade title was in 1987/88. It was also the first premiership for the club in any women’s grade since 2003/04.
Campbelltown-Camden finished one point clear of Gordon after the 10 competition rounds. A bonus point victory over Sydney in round seven proved pivotal for the Ghosts.
Both teams lost one game all season. It was the first time Campbelltown-Camden had finished minor premiers in Women’s Premier Cricket and a complete turnaround from last season when the team finished bottom of the table.
The weather denied the Gordon club adding to its Combined First and Second Grade T20 title won by Gordon Blue earlier in the season.
NSW Breakers reserve wicketkeeper-batter, Hannah Trethewy, led Campbelltown-Camden to the title in her first year as full-time captain of the squad.
She explained that it was a weird feeling, despite the excitement of lifting the trophy.
“Obviously unfortunate circumstances today, the season has involved a lot of rain, we definitely would have preferred to get out on the park but that’s the way it is,” Trethewy said.
Trethewy was one of three Breakers that play their club cricket for Campbelltown-Camden.
Breakers left-arm pace bowler Lauren Cheatle, who made her One-Day International return for Australia against New Zealand in late February, and quick Belinda Vakarewa were both available for the final.
Vakarewa was expected to return from a side strain for the match after she missed the semi-final victory over St George-Sutherland.
ACT Meteors Claire Koski and Clara Iemma, who open the batting together for the Ghosts, were the other two Women’s National Cricket League players in the squad.
The pair shared two of the three highest opening stands throughout the season of 146 and 151. Iemma was also part of the best opening partnership with NSW Metro Under 18 allrounder Dharmini Chauhan.
The pair scored 156 for the first wicket against Northern District in round six.
Cheatle said the premiership victory was a really nice way to finish the season.
“I think coming back to (the Ghosts) is always a fantastic opportunity, such a great group of girls to be around, so really happy for this group,” Cheatle said.
“For such a young group, looking forward, only bigger and better (goals ahead).”
The Campbelltown-Camden squad included no fewer than five players who competed at the Under 18 National Championships in January and several other players 20 years old or younger.
Allrounder Hannah Darlington, who returned from New Zealand on Saturday, captained NSW Metro to the One-Day title at the Under 18 nationals this season.
Chauhan and Campbelltown-Camden seamer Stephanie Ellsmore were also part of that Metro squad.
Kayla Burton and allrounder Isabella Greig were other two members of the premiership winning squad for Campbelltown-Camden. They represented the Cricket Australia XI at the Championships.
“We’ve definitely been a young team for a few years now, we lost a lot of our senior players early on and (it’s) been a few years of rebuilding and that’s been our focus,” said Trethewy.
“We have finished at the bottom of the ladder a few times, and whilst it was hard, we’re really supported by our club.
“We’ve had some great coaches that have really persisted with us, worked hard with us, so it’s nice to finish at the top of the table and celebrate a lot of hard work over the last few years.”
The Second Grade Grand Final was likewise washed out with Northern District declared the champions due to finishing as minor premiers.
On Saturday, minor premiers St George-Sutherland defeated Gordon in the Third Grade T20 Grand Final.
All Under 18 Brewer Shield fixtures scheduled for Sunday were abandoned due to the rain.