GIRL POWER

There was a little piece of history at Strabane on Saturday as Ireland U19 girls international Alana Dalzell became the first woman to play senior cricket for Bready, and only the third to feature in the region in 132 years. Burndennett’s Julie Logue and St Johnston’s Nicki Squires the others.

Dalzell bowled two overs for just nine runs and it could have been better had two catches been taken off her bowling. Still she was on the winning side as Bready beat Strabane by eight wickets to remain in pole position in one of the most competitive groups.

Club stalwart Trevor Hamilton paid tribute to Dalzell for her selfless dedication to improving as a cricketer in the decade she has been involved with the Magheramason club since taking part in a summer camp with former professional Agha Sabir Ali.

“Everyone at the club was so proud to see Alana make her first XI debut on Saturday at Strabane Park. This is just reward for the years of hard work and dedication Alana has put in, and senior recognition was fully deserved.

“Alana is a great role model for these girls and we hope they are inspired to work as hard as Alana and enjoy the game.”

Bready has been at the forefront of the women’s game in recent times, but Hamilton admits the club can do even more to boost the profile of the women’s game.

“As a club we know we can do more to promote the women’s game in the NW but at youth level, we now have 30 girls regularly attending our weekly training sessions and our Under 11 team is made up of 50% girls which is great to see and augurs well for the future.

Alana wasn’t the only woman to feature in the first XI of a Tyrone club at the weekend though. Sion Mills also fielded NW U19 interprovincial Lucy McGranaghan in their clash with Fox Lodge seconds. Lucy took a catch and was unbeaten with the bat, but unfortunately was on the losing side as the Ballymagorry side won convincingly.