Love their sport and Corowa

Sporting sisters, netballer Stephanie Sutcliffe and cricketer Gabrielle Sutcliffe had Christmas together before Gabby returned to Canberra.

Star female cricketer Gabby Sutcliffe enjoyed spending Christmas in Corowa, catching up with family and friends before a big cricketing January 2022.

“Because of delays with Covid we’ve got four games in seven days, the 6th, 9th, 11th and 14th, in Canberra and one in Sydney,” she told The Free Press on the eve of Christmas.

Nineteen-year-old medium fast outswing bowler off a 16m run-up and middle/lower order bat, Gabby plays for ACT Meteors in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL), making her debut on March 2021 taking 3/66 against New South Wales Breakers. She played one game for Sydney Thunder in the WBBL but was not required to bat or bowl.

Training with her teammates has been enjoyable “going to the gym, going for runs, everyone working well with each other” but her aim is “to get some games in!”

Gabby Sutcliffe in action for Corowa Cricket Club at Ball Park Oval.

Head coach of ACT Meteors and Female Pathway Manager – Cricket is John O’Dea who was praised by Gabby.

“He gets you to explore in terms of skills,” she said. Gabby’s stock ball is the outswinger to the right-hander but she is perfecting an inswinger later in the her bowling stint.

Gabby enjoyed being back in her place of birth – the first time since June - and noticing the improvements around town including her home ground, Ball Park Oval with the new clubrooms and boundary fencing which impressed her.

“I like to see how things have changed and catch up with friends from school. I really enjoyed playing for Corowa,” Gabby, who has played junior, reserves and firsts for the Roos, said.

Stephanie Sutcliffe pictured with her Under 17 most improved netball award for the Corowa Rutherglen Football Netball presentation night last October.

“The club is really good. It has a good culture, encouraging juniors to go onto senior cricket and definitely giving opportunities.”

Corowa Cricket Club President Paul Lavis described Gabby as “a very dedicated athlete” whose “outswing bowling is very impressive and her batting is good”.

Year 2022 will be the third and final year of a Physiotherapy course at the University of Canberra for Gabby.

Her younger sister Steph used to play cricket, including a little backyard cricket at home in Corowa. But there wasn’t a lot of ‘Test Cricket’ in the backyard. “I was so scared of you hitting me!” Steph told Gabby.

But netball is all the go now for Steph who had an excellent year with Corowa’s Under 17 side where she finished runner-up, to Grace Kennedy, in the best and fairest award for 2021 and still qualifies for the Under 17s.

At Corowa Football Netball Club’s big presentation night in October, the 15-year-old, who will be in Year 10 at Corowa High School this year, received rousing applause when announced as the most improved junior netballer.

As the team’s goal shooter, Steph threw a lot of goals including a highest total of 33 for season 2021.

“I love playing,” she said. “It’s a great community, everybody looking out for each other. It’s like a family, everyone knows each other and get along. The coaches are great and great supporters.”

Corowa’s senior netball coach Georgie Bruce said Steph is mature beyond her years and has shown great potential on the netball court.

“Determined and a keen learner, Steph stood out as a strong holding shooter debuting in the O&M as a 14-year-old. We are so grateful to have opportunities to work with young local talent.”

After short breaks, the Sutcliffe sisters are looking forward to their cricket and netball in 2022.