Keilor’s surprise development

Keilor's women's side. (Supplied)

Tara Murray

There were no expectations for Keilor when it started the Cricket Victoria Women’s Community Cricket Competition shield 3 season.

Having had a number of players move on to high levels or away from the club after last season, the Blues had a brand new team.

With that, Keilor head coach Duncan Harrison said they were keen to use this season as a development year.

“We put together a team at the start of the year, a young aspiring group of players,” he said.

“The expectation this season was development. We had no expectations being the first time they had come together and told them to not even worry about the ladder.

“They have performed really well.”

Harrison said they started slowly in the T20 competition which was impacted by rain. They finally clicked and just missed out on finals.

The 36 over format was where the side really clicked, finishing on top of the ladder, winning seven of their nine games.

Keilor faced Craigieburn in the first week of finals, with the match going down to the wire.

The Blues made 5-166 before restricting Craigieburn to 9-162.

Harrison said he was proud of how the group had been able to perform under pressure.

“It was nice and tight and everyone was on the edge of their seats,” he said.

“I was really pleased. There were some twists and turns in the game and they were able to stay really calm.”

Keilor are set to face Melton Centrals in the grand final on Sunday.

Harrison said it would be a good challenge.

“Melton Centrals have a couple of really good players,” he said.

“For us, we want them to thoroughly experience the game and hope they win. If not, it’s not the end of the world for us.

“It’s about making sure they enjoy the experience.”

The Blues have previously made a Victorian Turf Cricket Association women’s T20 grand final, but are yet to win a premiership with their women’s side.

Harrison said this season was another good step in helping females of all ages.

“A lot of the girls are in rep teams,” he said. “Three or four off to premier cricket at the moment.

“We’re really keen to start that pathway all the way through from grass roots through to hopefully some of them representing Australia.

“Hopefully we’ve taken a small step this year. We’ve got an alignment with EMP [Essendon Maribyrnong Park] this year. Their ground flooded and we hosted them for half a season. There’s a nice connection there.”

Tara Murray