Ask any of the Newcastle City Pink all-girls' under-12 division three side how they feel about beating the boys in their Newcastle Junior Cricket Association grand final and the collective response is that it was pretty good.
But they also quickly add: "It doesn't matter who we play. We just want to win."
The City side are part of a growing number of girls gravitating to cricket as the sport rides the wave of Australia's success from winning the 2020 T20 Women's World Cup.
For some it was their first season. Others have been playing for several years.
Together, they are breaking boundaries.
Newcastle City Pink were part of a milestone moment for female cricket in Newcastle last November when they played the Valentine-Eleebana Vixens in the first-ever all-girls' match of the traditionally boys' NJCA competition.
Then they created their own piece of history by beating under-12 division three minor premiers Merewether Tigers Silver at Myamblah Oval in the championship decider on March 27.
City finished the season second and had not beaten Merewether before the final. They batted first, posting a total of 124 runs in 28 overs then had the Tigers bowled out for 74 in 17 overs.
City coach Chris Wharton said his side took their chances in the field, with seven of the eight wickets coming from catches.
"It's traditionally a boys' competition and it's fantastic to see the girls are picking up cricket and girls' cricket is growing," Wharton said.
"As far as the season and winning the grand final, they're just a good team. It doesn't matter if it was girls or boys. They were just a really good team that put in and trained and deserved the final win."
Wharton's daughter Felicity plays in the side. Her older sister Alyssa was part of the first-ever all-girls' team to play in the NJCA competition - an under-11 side in 2013. Attitudes towards the girls, who can play a division two years under their age, had changed a lot since.
"The girls in Alyssa's team would come off from batting and they'd say how the boys were sledging, all of the stuff about a girl playing cricket, which I don't hear the under-12 girls saying any more," Wharton said. "They're just treated as a cricket team, as an equal."
Coming up against girls' teams is becoming the norm.
In November, NJCA girls' cricket officer Leya Wilson told the Herald a record number of girls were playing junior cricket in Newcastle with 333 registered and 15 all-girls' teams. That included basic skill development programs.
Laura Knipe, 12, played competitive cricket for the first time over summer with the victorious City Pink side.
"My sister started playing because she took an interest in it and I went along for the ride and decided it was fun and engaging," Knipe said during a photo shoot at Empire Park last week that quickly turned into an impromptu match. "I'm also competitive. The season was great and I will definitely be playing next year."
Felicity Wharton, 11, has played some form of cricket since she was five and was thrilled with the championship win.
"I was nervous because they'd beaten us in the normal season, but I also felt like we'd improved through the season," she said.
Kirsten Smith, 21, was captain and one of several Newcastle players in the Northern Districts side which won the NSW Women's Premier grand final in Sydney last month. She is also a Cricket NSW development officer and said the pathways for girls were far more established than when she was a junior.
"When I started playing cricket there was only one or two of us girls in the junior competition and now they've got multiple sides across the age groups," Smith said.
"It's great to see the growth and that not only they have the numbers but they're very competitive numbers."
The Newcastle City Pink side comprised Natasha Mills, Sophie Penn, Abby Roser, Saffron Thibault, Laura Knipe, Gabriella Lyons, Felicity Wharton, Sienna Edwards, Emma McRae and Lila Barber.
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