Coast rips into shield win

North Coast Rips girls cricket team won the Annita Hancock Shield in Casino on Monday. Players: (back row left to right) Courtney Fuller, Zara Tabor, Ellynie Cameron, Katelyn Beaumont, Natasha Rudder, (front row left to right) Tilly Lugg, Amy Riddell, Carly Leeson, Shinae MacDonald, Chelsea Cotten, Chantelle MacDonald.
North Coast Rips girls cricket team won the Annita Hancock Shield in Casino on Monday. Players: (back row left to right) Courtney Fuller, Zara Tabor, Ellynie Cameron, Katelyn Beaumont, Natasha Rudder, (front row left to right) Tilly Lugg, Amy Riddell, Carly Leeson, Shinae MacDonald, Chelsea Cotten, Chantelle MacDonald. Contributed

THE NORTH Coast Rips have proven the Clarence Valley is a female cricket stronghold after claiming the inaugural Annita Hancock Shield on Monday.

Played in Casino, the Rips overcame the Far North Coast Scorchers and Mid North Coast Dolphins to win the title.

The carnival saw up to 40 female junior cricketers descend on Queen Elizabeth Park for the first of what may become a bigger annual tournament.

Co-ordinator Michael Wood said the weekend was a fantastic success.

"The girls really enjoyed themselves," Wood said.

"We had music blaring with every wicket and at the end of every over like you see in the Big Bash League.

"It was a really great atmosphere and made the cricket even better."

The pumping tunes made way for some of the rare sights on the cricket field - which even included some players dancing on the pitch.

"Some of the girls really got into the music and when Gangnam Style came on the pitch became a dance floor," Wood said.

"It got a lot of air time during the day and, as you could imagine, the parents were probably sick of the song by the end."

The carnival had a more serious side to it, with a North Coast Academy squad for the state and national championships to be selected for the 2013 season.

While many players did their best to push their cases for selection, one North Coast player stood out.

"We haven't made any decisions when it comes to the teams but one of the players from Grafton stood out," Wood said.

"Ellynie Cameron performed brilliantly with both bat and ball over the two days."

Wood described Cameron as an athlete, and his glowing endorsement may pave the way for her to nail down a berth in the squad.

It's an endorsement that carries plenty of weight, as Wood is also the assistant NSW girls' cricket coach.

"There were quite a few handy players but she was one of the best," Wood said.

"I'll sit down with Troy (McKiernan - NSW head coach) and we'll pick the team in a few months from now."

Award winners

Player of the tournament: Carly Leeson

Best bowler: Chelsea Cotten

Best up and coming player: Ellynie Cameron

Most consistent: Amy Riddell

Most fours: Katelyn Beaumont

Best bowling figures: Tilly Lugg (3-1 off 2 overs)

Topics:  casino clarence valley cricket

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