Melton Centrals through to grand final

Melton Centrals' Candace Hulett. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

Melton Centrals is through to the Cricket Victoria Community Cricket north-west B one-day grand final.

Having set themselves to make the grand final at the start of the season, Centrals have been the team to beat this season with just one loss.

On Sunday, they put in a strong performance with the bat and then the ball to easily account for Hoppers Crossing in a semi-final.

Centrals made 5-161 from their 20 overs.

Centrals captain-coach Candace Hulett was more than pleased with that total.

“We lost a couple of early wickets, but were still able to put together a competitive total,” she said.

“We pushed it up to 160 and we thought that we could defend that.”

Hulett produced her second half century of the one-day season, finishing 54 not out. 

Amy Hibbert provided great support, making 29.

Centrals’ opening bowlers did the damage early to have Hoppers Crossing in trouble at 6-30.

The wickets continued to fall, with Centrals bowling Hoppers Crossing out for just 66.

Hibbert continued to be in the game, taking 5-26 off seven overs. Erin Keenan took three wickets.

Hulett said it was good to see someone like Hibbert step up.

“She is still one of our younger players,” she said. “She’s only 18 and it’s pleasing as a coach to sit back and watch it happen.

“The girls are standing up and saying it’s my game now and performing.”

Centrals will now face Coburg in the grand final. Coburg beat Geelong in the other semi final.

Centrals will be going for their first one-day title and second premiership overall, having won the T20 title last season.

Centrals are expected to host the final in Melton on March 15.

Hulett said they were expecting a big crowd to be in attendance.

“We had a lot of support there on Sunday,” she said.

“It’s the first women’s grand final at the club and it will be fantastic to have it at home and hopefully get a big crowd down there.”