Wellington’s Sara Darney has helped lead NSW to an emphatic victory in the National Indigenous Cricket Championships decider over Queensland on Monday, also completing the Blues’ stunning undefeated run through the tournament.
Simply, NSW was unstoppable at Alice Springs.
No side came close to downing the Blues through the preliminary stage – the smallest win they had was by seven wickets.
The central west trio’s outfit, featuring Dimity Parton of Orange and Lithgow’s Roxsanne Van Veen, shifted up another gear in the finals as well.
NSW clobbered Western Australia by nine wickets in Sunday’s semi-final before rinsing Queensland by the same margin in the decider, the latter win was thanks to Darney and Van Veen’s efforts at the top of the order too.
Chasing the maroons’ 6-135 – which was easily the biggest score any side scored against the Blues – Darney and Van Veen went ballistic in the chase, taking care of 120 at much, much better than a run-a-ball.
Van Veen was eventually dismissed for a 32-ball 63 while Darney finished unbeaten on 55, her knocking coming from just 37 balls.
Hannah Darlington finished 13 not out at the other end, from just eight deliveries, as NSW won with nine wickets in the bank and seven overs left too.
It was one of several huge efforts from Darney, who ended the tournament as NSW’s leading run-scorer with 220 at an average of 73.33.
“I was quite surprised to make that many runs but I was feeling good and batting alright,” Darney said.
“It felt really awesome to still be out there while my batting partner was scoring the winning runs.
“Just being part of the whole team and winning another one is a great feeling, I don’t know how to describe it.”
Darney thanked her family and friends who have supported her throughout the process, and encouraged aspiring young female cricketers from Wellington to stick to their goals.
“Just keep going,” she said.
“Even though we do live in the sticks a bit and I feel like we’re sometimes disadvantaged by that, opportunities do arise and you need to take them by both hands.”