Lightning force

Smithton sisters Bridget and Hannah Watling have been selected in the North West Lightning Under 17 side to compete in the Hurricanes Academy State Championships. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Competition. Hannah and Bridget Watling are no strangers to the cricket pitch.

Picking up the bat and ball from a young age, the sisters have become representatives of the region.

The Watlings will take on the Hurricanes Academy State Championships next month with the North West Lightning Under 17 girls side.

Held from November to February, the representative squad meets with teams from around the state across a six game series.

The Twenty20 and 40-over matches are an opportunity for the sisters to show off their set of skills acquired over many years of backyard cricket in their youth followed by representative matches in more recent years.

This is the fourth time they will take on the Under 17 competition, having played three years in the Under 14 state championships as well.

The girls say they have improved over the years to become leaders of the team.

“We’ve become role models for our teammates,” says Hannah, who captained the Burnie Hurricanes last year.

Hannah led the side as the opening batter while Bridget is source of strength behind the stumps as wicket keeper and an all rounder.

The pair play in the Cricket North West competition throughout the season. In the last season, Bridget won the award for best bowling averages and managed to claim two maiden overs in the Grand Final against Latrobe, a proud moment.

Meanwhile Hannah claimed the batting award for scoring 180 runs not out across six games.

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS FIXTURE

North West Lightning will take on Northern Force in round one of the Hurricanes Academy State Championships on Monday November 5 at Sheffield Recreation Ground from 11am.

The side will meet with Southern Storm on Saturday November 17 from 11am at Gunn Oval in round two before round three on Saturday December 15 at West Park Oval against the State Under 15 side.

Round four will take place on Wednesday January 9 at West Park Oval against Northern Force from 2.15pm.

Round five will be played at the North Tasmanian Cricket Association Ground on Wednesday January 30 against Southern Storm from 11am before the final round is played later that day against State Under 15 side at 2.30pm ahead of the Grand Final on Saturday February 16.

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