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Reigning champion confronts Crockett-Grills and Victoria

Julia Crockett-Grills and her Victorian teammates will go straight into the deep end at the Cricket Australia Under-18 National Championships, which begin in Ballarat today.

DAMEN FRANCIS January 16, 2013 4:15am

Julia Crockett-Grills and her Victorian teammates will go straight into the deep end at the Cricket Australia Under-18 National Championships, which begin in Ballarat today.

Victoria opens its campaign against reigning champion and competition powerhouse NSW in a match that could have a big say in the race for the title.

The classy Kyabram cricketer has been named vice-captain of the side and is looking to make the most of her last year of underage representative cricket.

‘‘We came third last year (and) we’ve always been in the top three,’’ Crockett-Grills said.

‘‘It’s our last year and I’m hoping to win and definitely beat NSW.

‘‘They are always going to be tough and Queensland as well, so it’s probably those two teams that will be our main threats.’’

Crockett-Grills, has been in good touch this season, taking regular wickets with the ball for both Victorian Women’s Premier Cricket team Box Hill and Goulburn Murray Cricket club Kyabram Fire Brigade, where she has played B-grade and C-grade.

A century for Northern Rivers at the Victorian Under-18 Championships last month proved she is also more than capable with the bat.

The 18-year-old is expected to open the bowling and bat in the middle-order this week and she said her personal aim for the tournament was ‘‘just to be consistent’’.

On her leadership role, Crockett-Grills said she found out last week and was looking forward to the extra responsibility.

‘‘I’ll need to kind of be the captain’s little pet, help her out where I can and make sure everyone is kind of moulding together and try and set a good example,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s my last year in the underage, so it’s exciting to have a place in it.

‘‘We should do pretty well, we’ve got a fairly new team this year, so there’s the new faces, but we should go all right.

‘‘There is still some top-age, middle-age and bottom-age.

‘‘Ever since the Victorian Championships I’ve made some runs, so hopefully I can still pull it all together.’’

The championships finals will be played on Tuesday.

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