Newcastle Blasters book spot in Cricket NSW Women's T20 Regional Bash semi-finals

TOP JOB: Kirsten Smith captained the Newcastle Blasters representative team in the inaugural Cricket NSW Women's T20 Regional Bash on Sunday. Picture: Josh Callinan
TOP JOB: Kirsten Smith captained the Newcastle Blasters representative team in the inaugural Cricket NSW Women's T20 Regional Bash on Sunday. Picture: Josh Callinan

Kirsten Smith's dad used to drive the 650-kilometre round trip from Scone to Sydney each Sunday in summer, just so she could play cricket.

The now 20-year-old continues to line up in the state capital with Northern Districts, twice donning the NSW Country cap at national championships and even reached World Cup level with the Australian under-17 indoor side.

Smith's sporting journey continued on the weekend when she captained the Newcastle Blasters representative team in the inaugural Cricket NSW Women's T20 Regional Bash.

"To be part of the first Newcastle team in this competition is really exciting and to captain makes it even more special," she said.

The Blasters, coached by Steve Taylor and Tom Anderson, booked a semi-final spot from an eight-wicket defeat of Central Coast Rush (89) on Sunday.

The squad includes the likes of Allison McGrath, Clare Webber and Maddie McGuigan.

Webber starred with 45 not out and 1-11 on Sunday as the Newcastle Blasters booked their semi-final spot in the newly formed eight-team tournament.

The finals fixture is scheduled for the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 21.

"It's a really good opportunity," Smith said.

"You probably wouldn't think of ever being able to play on the SCG and then through a regional competition you have the chance to, which is pretty amazing."

Smith, who now lives in the Newcastle area and commutes to UTS studying sport business management, will soon turn her attention to the first Newcastle District Cricket Association Women's T20 League.

The month-long, midweek competition gets underway on October 30 with City, Wests, Hamilton-Wickham and Waratah-Mayfield set to participate.

"It's really good for the girls to have a stand-alone competition," Smith said.

"Women from the country can do a lot of travel to Sydney to play, so being able to do that at home makes a big difference."

Smith said the league would provide a pathway for younger players, an avenue to return or chance to try.

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