By Hollie Armitage
A one-day final success with the Clarence girls last weekend meant I finished off my winter with them in style here in Tasmania.
We beat Greater Northern by 71 runs on our home ground to make it a really memorable day for everyone at the club.
I was fortunate enough to captain the side due to Emma Thompson’s absence, which added more pressures as she’d captained the side for a reasonable amount of time.
We were two down early on for not many, and everyone on the sidelines would have been a bit twitchy I reckon.
I know how important it was to build a partnership in order to get us to a competitive total. So it was great to bat with Erin Fazackerley – who was coming off the back of an unbelievable 198 not out in the previous round game – to put a big 197 run partnership on together. Having put on 259-7 we knew we were right in the game.
The openers got us off to a great start, getting the two key batters out who have scored the majority of the runs for the Northern Raiders.
I had a captain’s dream, as I had nine girls in the side who had overs in them.
Later on, there was a point where the rate was at 10s and they were five or six down. I thought, ‘This is time for me to give bigger opportunities for some of the younger players a go, in a big final’.
There’s a few very good young talented players in Taylor and Maddi Brooks, youngsters who will dominate in a couple of years, not only in cricket but in hockey too.
There’s another youngster, Jessie (Mudaliar), who is going to be a really good fast bowler like Taylor. It was great to see them contribute to a winning final.
As I said earlier, it was an outstanding day and a big moment for our club, particularly our head coach Leesa Walker, She has been at Clarence for 10 years and the women’s head coach for the last six. But she has recently stepped down. So it meant a lot for her to come away with a Premier first grade title.
There was lots of support from the male players as well, and the Under 15s boys had also won their competition earlier in the day. They were all there supporting us. That was fantastic.
It was my last game for Clarence before heading home on Friday, although I have continued to train with the Tasmanian squad. I was even asked to travel with them to Adelaide a few days ago as injury cover for a WNCL state game. But I didn’t end up playing.
I still feel very lucky to have had the chance to come out here and play, train and coach given everything that is going on around the world at present.
I feel like I’ve really learnt a lot heading into the English summer.
The different teams you get to play with and the different players you work with, you are constantly building up a greater experience portfolio.
You can pick little bits out from elsewhere and trial and error them in your own game.
If you’ve never been away as a player, I would highly recommend it.
Last year, I perhaps enjoyed myself a bit more off the field, whereas this winter I came over here as a professional athlete knowing things had to be different. I have still enjoyed myself, but there is a time and a place.
This winter, I have also been with Maisy (Gibson, a fellow Tasmania player), my partner, having done five months long distance over our summer.
So I’ve been able to spend some quality time with her this winter, which is another reason why it has been very different to last year.
We are currently trying to organise for her to come over and train with the Northern Diamonds this summer, as I have done with Tasmania this winter.
She’s currently six months post her ACL operation, but it would be great for her recovery to be able to train with us and also have a change of scenery. Rehabbing in the same place can be tough.
But I am more than looking forward to being back with the Northern Diamonds girls and to get back in training with them.