Betts Grand Final bound

Sam Betts reflects on her decade plus career in WNCL.
By Peter Argent

With an emphatic final round victory over Victorian, grabbing a critical bonus point and with New South Wales loss to Queensland, the SA Scorpions have won a place in the 2021-22 Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) Grand Final.

The title decider will be played this Sunday, March 27 at Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Tasmania. Against the competition yardstick this summer, the Tassie Tigers. Who won seven of their eight matches in the regular season.

Betts has been a key component in the Scorpions’ strong summer, collecting 10 wickets across the seven games she participated in at a strong average of 20.70 runs per victim.

Now more than a decade veteran of the WNCL, Betts and keeper Tegan McPharlin and batter from KI, Bridget Patterson, are the senior pros in the outfit.

They were all members of the previous Scorpions titles back in 2015-16. Under the guidance of current Board Member and former Australian cricketer Andrea McCauley.

“We were comprehensively beaten by NSW the previous summer,” Betts recalled.

“Having played in the Grand Final gave the girls the belief required to get the job done the next year.

“With ‘Wello’ (Amanda-Jade Wellington), ‘Shooter’ (Megan Schutt) and Tahlia (McGrath) away at the World Cup, I am certainly the oldest in the bowling meetings.

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“It has given me the chance to be the senior member of the bowling group, which I’ve really enjoyed.

“My role is to build pressure and the wickets will come. Whether I take them or they are grabbed by the bowlers at the other end.

“We still have a number of our squad who were involved in the ‘15-16 success.

“While we’ll go in underdogs again, this time against Tasmania, we’re looking forward to the opportunity and the weather is forecasted to be good for the final on Sunday.”

Betts first started with the SA Scorpions as a 16-year-old, debuting on Adelaide Oval in the summer of 2012-13 under the guidance of captain Lauren Ebsary.

As a Scorpions rookie, Betts continued to live and attend school in Broken Hill, committing to travel to Adelaide once each week to train with the state team.

She was a member of the SA under 18s state side in 2011-12 playing alongside current Australian women’s players participating in the World Cup, Tahlia McGrath and Megan Schutt, who made the Grand Final a decade ago, but lost to NSW at Park 25 number one ground, on the edge of Adelaide’s CBD.

“There were a lot of talented sportswomen in that SA Under 18s group a decade ago,” Betts smiled.

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“A good number after still pursuing there sporting dreams and have achieved plenty.

“I’m proud of my journey and heritage in Broken Hill.

“I’ve always been a West’s (West Broken Hill Cricket Club) girl.

“It’s time like this when your preparing for finals you have a little time to reflect on the road to this point.

“You remember training with the boys in the nets at West, the travel with mum down to Adelaide and the support you’ve received from the Broken Hill community along the way.

“I hope I’ve repaid the community a little for their wonderful support.”

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