Mother and daughter Sally and Mackenzie Keeler  flew out to Alice Springs for the recent National Indigenous Cricket Championships and had the experience of their lives as NSW representatives.

“It was an amazing experience to be able to represent our culture and people and to be able to do it with my daughter Mackenzie was even more special,” Sally said.

“First up we were presented with our NSW playing caps by Hannah Darlington who plays for the Sydney Thunder and is also a proud Kamilaroi woman.”

Sally said the opening ceremony where all teams came together and created a barefoot circle was a moment of pride.

NSW won the first game against Northern Territory with Sally bowling an over for 15 runs but no wicket. 

“We didn’t need to bat as we got the runs and only lost two wickets – the score was NSW 2-98 defeated NT 6/97,” Sally said.

In the team’s second match against Queensland, the Blues went down, all out for 58, but both Gunnedah players  stepped up to the crease – Mackenzie facing 10 balls but no runs, while Sally ran in two runs. 

Mackenzie and Sally Keeler in their representative playing gear.

NSW had a bye on the Friday, so a spot of sight-seeing was on the cards with a trip out to  Ellery Creek Big Hole, for a refreshing swim.

The Blues won the next match against Victoria but the mother and daughter had no chance to bat as the team only lost one wicket – beating Victoria 7/70.

The fourth game against Western Australia was a close one requiring 11 runs off the last over. With just one run off the last ball of the game needed to win, Sally was on strike and nailed the run to win the game. Sally ended up with 11 runs off 10 balls. 

NSW finished second on the ladder and was set to take on Western Australia in the semi-final, which it won with 4/83 defeating the opposition 5/80.

All fired up for the grand final against Queensland on the Tuesday, NSW batted first and managed 5/77 off 20 overs but a determined Queensland side managed to get the runs in 10 overs, scoring 2/81.

“NSW never gave up and had a very new and young side this year,” Sally said.

“Mackenzie was the youngest in the team and learnt so much – a very special thanks to our coach Kerry Marshall and Hannah Trethewey and managers Hannah Darlington and Anika Learoyd.” 

Mackenzie plays her weekend cricket with Gunnedah Junior Cricket Club and then on to Sydney to play for Northern District Cricket in the Under 18 women’s  competition.

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