TELLING TOTAL: Georgia Voll celebrated her mid-week selection in the Australian U16 side with a quality batting innings against Sandgate-Redcliffe at the weekend.
TELLING TOTAL: Georgia Voll celebrated her mid-week selection in the Australian U16 side with a quality batting innings against Sandgate-Redcliffe at the weekend. Cordell Richardson

Hornets bat above potent Sandgate bowling attack

THE IPSWICH/LOGAN Hornets found themselves "interestingly poised" in their Katherine Raymont Shield clash with Sandgate-Redcliffe when the heavens opened on Sunday.

After recording a season-best innings of 223, the Hornets struck early with the ball when Lacey Hinze claimed the prized scalp of Tess Cooper and soon after opening partner Lilly Mills to have the hosts struggling at 2/24.

At 3/80, the game hung on a knife's edge as storm clouds loomed on the horizon. The 14 overs bowled was still one-shy of the required 15 for the Duckworth-Lewis method to take affect.

Retaining their current run rate would have handed Sandgate-Redcliffe the victory; a late wicket would have swung the result in the Hornets' favour.

As it panned out, the two sides were forced to settle for a draw.

Hornets coach Wayne Bichel took plenty from his side's performance against a potent bowling attack despite again finishing the round without a win.

"Very happy," he said.

"That was probably the best bowling attack they could have put out, so I'm very happy we got 223.

"We had some big wickets - particularly getting Tess and Lilly Mills.

"Kira (Holmes) was nearly horizontal in front of first slip (to catch Cooper), and Sterre had a great catch in the slips also."

Earlier in the Hornets' innings, recently-named Cricket Australia U16 player Georgia Voll returned to run-scoring form with an impressive knock of 78 from 109 balls.

"Georgia has been so keen for runs. We spoke a lot about her preparation and what she needed to do, and it worked," Bichel said.

A reshuffle at the top of the order saw PNG international Brenda Tau get her chance to impress at second drop. Having struggled to find runs in previous outings, Tau cashed in on Sunday with 46 from 55 deliveries.

"We tweaked some things with our order and brought Brenda up, and she was very good," Bichel said. "We did some work technically and it came off - she was pretty happy."

Sitting at 2/150 at one stage, Bichel thought the Hornets looked set to post a 250-plus total before Fire star Jemma Barsby ran roughshod through the middle order.

"The good thing is Kira and Lacey have been getting runs for us - Imogene (Fisk-Walsh) and Sterre (Kalis) too - and they missed out this time," Bichel said.

"That's the good thing about our line-up. When a few miss out, others can pick up the slack."

Barsby's experience and precision line and length proved the difference in a match dictated by bowling deficiencies, prompting Bichel to add the Hornets "still need to do a few things" with their bowling and field placements.

"With our bowling, we're struggling in changing the line. Each of the teams we've played have had left and right-handers at the top of the order and the girls struggle to adapt," Bichel said.

"It seems when you have that small margin for error, the left and right-hand combinations are hard for the girls to readjust their lines to.

"We did that yesterday with Brenda (moving up the order) and it worked for us as well."

After the expected "three to four games to get used to it" Bichel believes his young side have proved to the rest of the competition, and most importantly themselves, they belong in the Queensland Premier Cricket top tier.

"The girls are realising they can't just turn up and expect things to happen. They have to put the work in," he said.

"We're really excited. That win is not far away."

The Hornets' Jodie Fields Shield outfit were also forced into a rain-affected draw at home to Sandgate-Redcliffe.



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