It is a moment Molly Loe will remember for the rest of her life.
The newly contracted Otago Sparks cricketer became the first female to represent the Willows Cricket Club last weekend.
She was never far from her North Otago roots, playing alongside former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in a Willows team made up mostly of Otago Boys’ High School past pupils. The team played against Otago Boys’ first XI.
Loe, who took two for 32, said it was a “privilege” to pave the way for women at the historic Christchurch ground.
“I’m so grateful I got the opportunity – it was pretty cool,” Loe said.
“It’s a great opportunity to get female cricket on the board a little bit more.”
Meeting and playing alongside McCaw, who grew up in Hakataramea, was exciting, she said.
“He was great – a great person on and off the field. I was super nervous so just having him and the rest of the team … they were all very supportive and encouraging.”
Loe’s opportunity came through previously representing St Hilda’s Collegiate against Christchurch Girls’ High School at the Willows ground. Her family also has close connections to the Dormer family, who run the club.
This weekend, Loe is playing for the North Otago under-19 team in the Otago district tournament in Oamaru.