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G'day from Australia!

Posted in England Women

Jenny Gunn

Jenny Gunn is currently Down Under having signed to play for Western Fury

On September 22nd I headed overseas as I boarded a plane to Australia. It was quite a short flight as this year I'm heading to Perth which meant a 16 hour flight instead of 24.

I arrived the next day and I must say it was quite warm. I had a chilled out day before my first training session.

This season I've joined up to play for the Western Fury and it felt quite strange rocking up to train as I have been playing against them for the past two seasons.

I knew a few of the girls as Lauren Ebsary used to play for my old team South Australia and Rene Farrell played for Balmain in Sydney, so least I didn’t feel like I was on my own.

My first session with them was quite light as I had only just landed. I must say I would love to bowl on the WACA pitches every week as they are so bouncy.

As Daylight Saving Time hasn’t kicked in yet it starts to get dark around 6.30pm. Anyway, I was called to get my pads on at 6.20pm and going into the net and looking up at the bowler, I was thinking 'oh my God, it's dark'.

There were two nets - one with all the spinners and one with all the pace bowlers and yes, you guessed it, I got the pace net with Lauren Ebsary (Beep as she is known), who is one of our quickest bowlers, steaming in at me.

A couple of balls in she hit me on the inside of my leg which hurt. My dad always told me not to rub it so I just kept saying 'show no pain, show no pain'. I just gritted my teeth, picked the ball up and tried to rise a small smile. I think the net was a 'Welcome to the Fury' for the Pom. I thought I was going to get killed in there.

On September 25th I felt like I was back in England as it rained for over six hours. Here was me thinking it never rained in Australia.

One of my friends works at the state tennis centre which means we can play the odd game here and there. We walked out onto centre court, clearly wasted on us two, but it was fun to play a different sport even if it was frustrating when you keep hitting the ball into the net and have to serve about 10mph.

My first weekend was a long one being a bank holiday and most of Australia stopped as it was the AFL final. I really enjoyed it but don’t think I would ever play it as you are allowed to punch and practically do anything to your opponent.

Once the game had finished I played my first game of back yard cricket. It made it more entertaining as there was a swimming pool on the leg side. I thought I was a competitive person but when a 70-year-old woman came into bat and hit the ball straight to Fez, she wanged the ball back at the stumps to run her out. I found out then she is the most competitive person I know!

We had our first club game on October 5th and it was South Perth’s first ever in A grade. We were up against last year’s winners, Subiaco Marist, and we lost the toss and were batting first.

We were quickly reduced to six for two which saw Fez and myself at the crease. It was good fun batting and we managed to put on a good partnership before she nicked a widish ball to first slip just before drinks.

We finished on 163 which we were all quite happy with but we weren’t expecting the game to finish so quickly.

They got off to a good start even if we were a little unlucky as the ball got edged over the slips quite a few times before a run out held them back slightly. We only managed to take one more wicket though before they got the runs in the 25th over to leave us a little disappointed. We still learnt a lot from the day though.

I'm really getting into tennis and finding it really good fitness. I've become a member of Bayswater Tennis Club and went down to their open day.

We played doubles and Fez and I played together. It made us laugh when people kept asking us how long we had been playing for and that we must play at a decent standard. They wouldn’t believe us that we had only been playing for two weeks!

The next week seemed to fly by as I was moving into a house and getting everything sorted took up most of my time. It’s strange living with Aussies as they put pictures up around the house of Australians, so I was glad when my housemate put the picture of the 2008 NSW Breakers state winning picture in her bedroom and not in the living room!

Before I knew it, it was Sunday again and this week we were up against Rockingham-Mandurah. Everyone said this game would be close with many tipping Rocky for the win.

It was a very windy day and we were bowling first. Our two openers got us off to a great start, each picking up an early wicket, but from there Rocky started to score runs quite freely.

Our team went quite flat until Taneale, our 14-year-old debutant, came on and claimed the wicket of Emily Rixon who was on 50. She then continued to pick up two more wickets before Fez came on the other end to wrap up the tail.

We were chasing 160 but early wickets again brought me and Fez to the crease. Rocky are quite a loud team and wouldn’t shut up so I was so happy when we got on top and quietened them down.

We were going along nicely until I was given out lbw. I won't describe in detail how far down the wicket, or that it was outside off stump, but let's just say I wasn’t happy!

Luckily the middle order were brilliant and stayed with Fez all the way to the end, bringing up our first A grade game win in the 35th over. It was such a good feeling. Everyone did so well and a good captain's perform of 4-20 and 86 not out by Fez helped the team out a little bit!

I'm now looking forward to our next games and it’s not long now before our state season kicks off.

It just happens that our first game is against my old team South Australia. I'm just glad its in Perth and not over in Adelaide!

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