OUT: Sterre Kalis (pictured) is one of a handful of key Hornets unavailable for selection this weekend.
OUT: Sterre Kalis (pictured) is one of a handful of key Hornets unavailable for selection this weekend. Cordell Richardson

Tough times for young hornets

WAYNE Bichel is lamenting "yet another weekend” without star pairing Georgia Voll and Ruth Johnston when the Hornets' Katherine Raymont Shield side return to action today.

Voll and Johnston are in Sydney set to face off in the WBBL Under-18 Exhibition Match at Blacktown, leaving Bichel down two of his most experienced batters.

Add to that the continued absence of Dutch international Sterre Kalis, and the news this week PNG pairing Vicky Ara'a and Brenda Tau are still at least another week away, and just fielding a side has become a task in itself for the Hornets coach.

"Another weekend without them (Voll and Johnston). This weekend will be tough,” Bichel said.

"We also won't have Sterre back until the end of January, and it's looking like the PNG girls - hopefully - will be back by the 13th.”

Lauren Anderson is also out this weekend, as she suits up for the Northern Territory Country Women's team in Shepparton.

"We basically have everybody out,” the coach said with a laugh.

Anticipating a tough task against Valleys today and University tomorrow, Bichel said it was just poor timing the Hornets will be without a host of their key players for such "critical” games.

"This rep time of the year with all the girls away will really test our depth,” he said.

"It's a shame, because we're fourth in the T20 competition and these games this weekend are critical. It will be tough with George and Ruth away, and the other outs.”

A host of Jodie Fields Shield regulars will thus be called upon once again to fill the void.

"Last time the got an appreciation of the difference in level between the twos and ones - it's a big step,” Bichel said.

"But again, the more games they play, the more knowledge they'll have. And they're all still very young, 14 and 15, which is perfect for the future.”

Casting a retrospective eye over the Hornets' first half of the season, Bichel found a heap of individual positives to draw upon despite a relative lack of team success in the Brisbane top tier.

"Looking at our season thus far, we've got three wins, one 50/50 (chance) we probably missed and other opportunities to win some more,” he said.

"But we have two of the top 10 batters (in the Katherine Raymont Shield) in Georgia and Sterre. Lacey (Hinze) is top five for wickets taken, and Kira (Holmes) as a wicketkeeper is on top for dismissals on the season.”

Macy Hauser also sits second for wickets taken in the Jodie Fields Shield with 19 from 10 matches.

"Across all facets we're really happy with how individually and as a team things are going,” Bichel said.

Game Day

Katherine Raymont Shield

Today (10am) - Ipswich/Logan Hornets v Valleys at Baxter Oval

Tomorrow (10am) - Ipswich/Logan Hornets v University of Queensland at Norm McMahon Oval