A strong Riverina Bullets women's side heads to Queanbeyan on Friday bidding to reach the Plan B Regional Bash finals.
The Bullets face T20s against ACT Aces (12pm) and Illawarra Flames (3:30pm) at Brad Haddin Oval before taking on Western Outlaws in Canberra from 10am on Saturday.
Catherine Wood, head coach of the Riverina women's academy, is one of three players in the side representing Cricket Albury-Wodonga, alongside Ebony Hoskin and Rosie Blain.
There's experience in the form of captain Jodie Hicks and Lisa Kuschert, both former NSW Breakers, and a sprinkling of the young talent Wood has been nurturing in the academy.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Wood said.
"There's no women's cricket in the Albury-Wodonga area or in the Riverina so to be able to play against other women from all over the state, it's a fantastic opportunity and I actually can't wait.
"A lot of girls coming through the academy don't actually have a lot of representative cricket to go on to if they're not selected for NSW or ACT and don't make it into any WBBL sides.
"There's not a lot for them to continue on with so this is a great opportunity to have more representative cricket for the open age group."
In a change of format from the previous two years, the top two sides in each pool will go head-to-head in a conference final, with the winner progressing to the grand final.
The Bullets are part of the Thunder pool, with the Sixers pool featuring Coffs Coast Chargers, Newcastle Blasters, Central Coast Rush and Northern Inland Bolters.
Lucy McKelvie-Hill, like Hoskin, is in the NSW under-19 squad and the Bullets line-up is completed by Georgia Bye, Alicia Donohue, Claire Murray, Perri Nash, Christina Roberts and Charlotte Waring.
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"It's the strongest team we've had since the competition began three years ago," Wood said.
"We're looking good this year and I definitely think we're in with a chance.
"I'd like to beat ACT Aces because we haven't got them yet so to have those guys first up will definitely be a challenge but I really think we can get them this year."
"Some of these girls live in Canberra now but they all grew up and started playing their cricket in the Riverina area.
"If you grew up playing cricket for Riverina or your zone, you always want to contribute and I'm really excited by the way this team has come together."
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