By Cricket NSW Media

NSW Metro has won the U/18 Female National Championships by defeating Victoria by 61 runs in the Final in Ballarat today (January 20).

NSW Metro went into today’s match as the underdog against a Victorian side that had not lost a game all tournament.

Winning the toss and batting, NSW Metro made 8-143 from their 50 overs.

After losing two early wickets, Ashleigh Gardner (25) and Mikayla Hinkley (19) steadied the ship with a 46 run third wicket stand before some valuable lower order runs from Maisy Gibson (34) and Lauren Cheatle (17) got NSW Metro to a defendable score.

The NSW Metro bowlers needed to get on top early in the field and they responded to the challenge by reducing their opposition to 5-45, with Ashleigh Gardner snaring three wickets.

Victoria did not recover from this position and they were eventually bowled out for just 82 runs in the 41st over.

Ashleigh Gardner (3-17) and Lauren Cheatle (3-18) finished with three wickets each, with Saskia Horley (2-12), Belinda Vakerewa (1-15) and Lauren Smith (1-10) the other wicket takers.

Click here to view the full scorecard from the match. 

This is the 11th consecutive season that a team from NSW has won the Betty Butcher Shield.

It also completes the double for NSW Metro who won the U/15 National Championships earlier this season, with off-spinner Saskia Horley part of both the U/15 and U/18 championship winning teams.

The full NSW Metro squad for the U/18 Female National Championships was (clubs/regional zones in brackets): Ashleigh Gardner (Bankstown Sports), Amy Edgar (Penrith/Western), Lauren Cheatle (Campbelltown-Camden/Illawarra-Southern), Maisy Gibson (Universities/Central Northern), Naomi McDonald (Gordon/North Coastal), Hannah Trethewy (Campbelltown-Camden), Saskia Horley (Gordon), Mikayla Hinkley (Penrith), Belinda Vakerewa (Campbelltown-Camden), Maitlan Brown (Sydney/North Coastal), Lauren Smith (Northern District/Central Coast), Carly Leeson (Bankstown Sports/North Coastal), Clara Iemma (Campbelltown-Camden)

ACT/NSW Country finished the tournament in fifth place after defeating Western Australia by one wicket in the fifth-sixth place play-off.

The full ACT/NSW Country squad for the tournament was (regional zones in brackets): Rochelle Davis (Central Coast), Sara Darney (Western), Matilda Lugg (North Coastal), Jodie Hicks (ACT), Rachel Trenamen (Riverina), Kelly Rowlings (Illawarra-Southern), Alana Ryan (Western), Amy Riddell (North Coastal), Kirsten Smith (Central Northern), Nina Westenraad (ACT), Sarah Seckold-McIntyre (ACT), Grace McDonald (North Coastal), Hannah Southwell (Newcastle)