Fifth time's the charm for maturing Hornets
IT TOOK until the fifth attempt, but the Ipswich/Logan Hornets finally broke their Gold Coast duck with a stirring victory at Bill Pippen Oval at the weekend.
In four previous outings against the Dolphins, Wayne Bichel's side had come close, then closer, and twice closer again to upsetting their South Coast rivals, but for key moments in each game to ultimately bring them unstuck.
However proof of the team's vast improvement this season - their maiden campaign in the Katherine Raymont Shield First Grade competition - was displayed on Sunday.
The Hornets first bowled their hosts out for 239, before chasing down the total with five wickets and nine balls still in-hand.
Georgia Voll was the standout, with bowling figures of 4/39 from 10 overs before blasting 65 off 114 in the run chase, but she was not the only key contributor.
Seven players claimed wickets, while Ellie Johnston (39 off 55), Sterre Kalis (43 off 45), Brenda Tau (38* off 40) and Sarah Grove (21* off 27) all contributed at the crease.
It was a win emblematic of the young side's continued growth in maturity across the season.
The first example was skipper Johnston's decision to send the hosts in to bat.
Whilst it is usually easier to chase a total in a limited overs match, to give the likes of Georgia Redmayne and Amy Riddell a chance to set the early pace was a gusty call.
"The girls wanted to bowl first. They backed themselves to be able to chase down whatever the total was,” Bichel said.
Second was when a familiar scenario confronted the Hornets in the field. At one point Gold Coast were going at around nine runs an over and seemingly in control. But instead of concede, as perhaps had been the case previously, the team stuck fast and made the necessary breakthrough.
"For a young skipper, going at nine runs an over she could have panicked but she didn't,” Bichel said of Johnston's captaincy calls in the field.
"She kept rotating the bowlers, changing things up and did a great job. And it wasn't just Ellie. They all hung tough.
"Once we got that wicket, the momentum turned and we got back into the game.”
Bichel appreciated being able to dissect a Gold Coast defeat.
"We finally got our bogey side off our back. I'm over the moon,” he said.
Katherine Raymont Shield
Ipswich/Logan Hornets 5/240 (48.3) (G. Voll 65, S. Kallis 43) def. Gold Coast 239 (49.2) (G. Voll 4/39 (10), E. Johnston 1/21 (7)) at Bill Pippen Oval