Hornets edge closer to unbeaten season
BY EVERY measurable statistic, the Ipswich/Logan Hornets women have been the best side in the Jodie Fields Shield competition - and it is not even close.
The reigning Shield holders remain unbeaten with just two rounds to play before finals, but it is not just the ladder which the Hornets are dominating.
Leanne Bichel's side have lost just 44 wickets in 14 matches; 18 less than the next-best side, Redlands.
They have also conceded just 1031 runs in that span, compared to Valleys' 1113 in second.
The Hornets are third for runs-scored - particularly impressive when taking into account the low totals they have had to chase, such has been the dominance of the bowlers in limiting runs.
Despite all this, Bichel still cautious about taking any opposition lightly.
That starts with a trip to take on fifth-placed Sunshine Coast this Sunday.
The hosts sit just one point outside the top four, and will be desperate for a result to give themselves a chance at a finals berth.
They will also be buoyed by prior history.
"We can't (take them lightly) because last year we went up there and lost to them,” Bichel said. "There's no doubt we need to bring our A-game on Sunday.”
The Hornets have not played since January 21, following a washout and forfeit over consecutive weekends.
And with a maximum of four matches left in the season, while the thought of remaining unbeaten is nice, Bichel said the team really just wants to be able to play cricket.
"We're just keen to play, honestly. Getting everyone together on the park would be great,” she said.
"(Going unbeaten) would be nice, but we're not thinking about it. We don't want to lose, the girls will play with a free spirit and that's the main thing. Nothing will change from what we've done all year.”
The Hornets welcome back a host of representative stars to the line-up this week, and will all slot back into their regular roles.
"Keeping stability in the order is important,” Bichel said. "We might tweak one or two things, but that's it.”
Play gets underway at Landsborough Sports Club at 11am on Sunday.