Hornets hard work paying off with shot at one-day top spot
HAVING toiled hard and learnt from some testing T20 encounters, the Ipswich Hornets women are stepping up in this year's Katherine Raymont Shield one-day matches.
Preparing for Sunday's latest 50 over game against Valleys, the Hornets are in second spot with three wins, a washout and one loss.
Gold Coast is the only side to have beaten the Hornets in the one day series.
However, that game was earlier in the season before the Hornets found their cricketing groove.
Head coach Wayne Bichel is delighted with his team's back-to-back victories over UQ and Wests - especially with some players unavailable due to exams or representative commitments.
"I'm really happy with the lessons that we learnt, which we were developing through the T20s,'' Bichel said.
"We got to the 50 over stuff and we've started pretty good.
"We put a whole lot of hard work in the pre-season and the hard work is now paying off.''
The November 1 win over UQ was encouraging with run scoring machine Ruth Johnston unable to play due to year 12 exams.
Kira Holmes stepped up at first drop to remain 50 not out as the Hornets compiled 4/192 to overhaul UQ's 9/191.
Bichel said the Hornets bowling also came together in that match.
He was also heartened seeing his team chase down the runs with 10 overs to spare.
"Considering Ruth was out, that was a pretty pleasing performance,'' he said.
Bichel said Holmes was continuing to grow as a cricketer "really owning batting at number three''.
Against Wests last weekend, the Hornets secured a bonus point after scoring 174 before restricting their opponents to 9/124 off their 50 overs.
Ruth Johnston snared 4/9 off 10 overs at the Ivor Marsden Sporting Complex.
The Hornets target was set up by Ellie Johnston's 43 off 47 deliveries and her cousin Ruth Johnston 37 (off 53).
Bichel said the only disappointment was his team was on target to score more than 200 before being bowled out.
The team responded again with regular contributor Keely Freiberg away at the under-15 championships.
"That's why we try to build the resilience in the group,'' Bichel said.
"We want people to come in and they're playing hard and then they do their roles.
"The rest of them, when they get their time to do their work, they backed up what someone had done before.
"You've really got to maintain the pressure. If you maintain the pressure then the wickets will follow.''
The Hornets have three more one-day games before reverting back to T20 mode early next month.
Bichel is keen for his team to continuing impressing in the longer format which suits his side better.
Sunday's match is against Valleys at Ashgrove.
"Valleys seem to play their best against us,'' he said.
In the Queensland Premier Grade competition, the Ipswich Hornets resume at 1/27 on Saturday chasing Toombul's 213 at Nundah.
Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder, Laidley and Northsiders host Harding-Madsen Shield matches on Saturday.
SEQ is contesting Schaffer Shield matches over the weekend.
Qld Premier Grades
Saturday: 1st Grade at Nundah - Ipswich Hornets 1/27 chasing 213 (Levi Thomson-Mathews 18* 33, Bryn Llewellyn 9*).
2nd Grade at Walker Oval: Ipswich Hornets 314 v Toombul.
1st Grade: Ipswich Hornets v Valleys at Ashgrove
2nd Grade: Ipswich Hornets v Sunshine Coast at Buderim
Under 19: Ipswich Hornets v Western Suburbs at Walker Oval
Taverners: Ipswich Hornets v Redlands at Marsden No.2
In Toowoomba Saturday and Sunday: SEQ v Darling Downs; SEQ v Gold Coast.
SEQ beat Wide Bay in Bulls Masters T20 Challenge in Bundaberg earlier this year.
Harding Madsen Shield
Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder v Central Districts at Tivoli No.1
Laidley District v Southern Districts Magpies at Bichel Oval
Northsiders v South East Redbacks at Sternberg Oval
Northern Brothers Diggers v Brothers at Rockville
Mets vs Highfields Railways & Uni vs Western District Toowoomba in Toowoomba
Centrals v Laidley at Limestone Park
Redbacks v Northsiders at Redbank Plains Reserve
Brothers v Thunder at Jim Donald Oval
Redbacks v Strollers Blue at Raleigh Oval
Strollers White v Northsiders at Strollers
Thunder v Laidley at Marsden No.3
Thunder Storm bye