ACT call-up a second chance for cricketers

CRICKET

Junior Illawarra cricketers Emma Coughlan-Ryan and Kaelah Austin will be looking to make the most of a second chance at the under-18 national cricket championship at Ballarat next week.

After both had earned selection for NSW Country, the pair missed their chance to press claims for the NSW side when the annual City-Country game was washed out.

Their form for Country, however, saw them offered a chance to head to the championship as members of the ACT team.

"It rained all week, so we didn't really get a trial, because we didn't get to play," Coughlan-Ryan said.

"When we missed out, they put us forward to the ACT so we'd still get a chance to play at the championship.

"Hopefully, we go well, particularly against NSW I guess, as that's a bit of a grudge match now."

The 17-year-old swing bowler, who plies her local trade with Wests, hopes a season mixing with the country's best female players at Sydney Tigers, will have her well prepared for the tournament.

"I play with Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Erin Osborne so it's [Sydney] a really strong club," she said. "I'm 17, so I've really got to start pushing for these representative teams, because I haven't too many more years as a junior."

Dapto star Austin is also looking to make the most of the lessons learnt while playing for Campbelltown in the Sydney grade competition.

"It's [a] really good competition to play in," she said. "You've got all the Aussie girls, so you're learning from the best.

"I play with Sarah Coyte and a few other girls that are coming through, so it's good to learn off them."

At just 15, Austin hopes the national championship will be a stepping stone for future rep honours.

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