It could be lucky 13 for the under 12s Bega Blue cricket side who will go into this weekend’s grand final on the back of a 12-game winning streak.
The young team had gone one-for-one with the strong Tathra Sea Eagles under 12s in the regular season.
But the Blues were delighted to knock over the Sea Eagles in last week’s semi-final with play going down to the final over.
“It was an awesome team effort,” all-rounder Sam Lever said. “You can’t pick one strong player, everyone just did everything right.”
Sam beams when he says half the team has come from the non-competitive Kanga juniors and they’re over the moon to reach the grand final in their first official competition year.
The Blues have another unique factor, too: they’re the only team in the competition fielding two girls with Alisi Arbon and Yasmine Welsford making a quarter of the team.
“We’re the youngest team in the competition and the only club with two girls,” Sam says.
“Some clubs act like we’ll be no good because of the girls, but they’re awesome, Yasi has been taking so many wickets.”
When asked what the key was to winning the last 12 games in a row, Sam said it came down to the team-wide performance.
“Everyone is playing really well,” he says. “Rory [Deighton] with the bat and the ball, Sam Griffin and Heathy.”
The team also has a penchant for heading out with the ball first.
“We always like to bowl first if we win the toss,” Sam said.
“In the last 15 games we’ve batted first once.
“We like to know what we’ve got to chase down with the bat,” he adds with a laugh.
Jasper Kelly has been named team captain by popular vote.
“Coach Justin [Welsford] didn’t pick a captain, but let us vote on it. - Jasper is just a great sporty kid and a good leader,” Sam said.
However, their opposition for the grand final will be an absolute unknown.
The 12s had been split all year to a southern and northern draw to save teams travelling as much.
So the opponents on Saturday will be the surprise winners of the northern draw from Tuross Head.
Sam said it was a surprise to see the team in the final as the Blues had never played them, but also because their results online had been inconsistent.
“We thought we were going to face Bermagui in the final for sure,” he said.
“And then we won the semi-final and checked the draw and was like ‘Tuross Head!’, they hadn’t updated all their results online.”
The grand final will be at Dickinson Oval, Bermagui, Saturday from 9am.