Auckland Hearts Blog
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The Hearts are back in business!
Over the long weekend, we travelled down to Nelson Park in Napier for a couple of pre-season games against Wellington and Central Districts. It was the first time we'd been involved in this pre-season warm-up and we were all really looking forward to being back on the field as a unit. Surprisingly enough, even after spending the previous summer living in each other's pockets, there was still a buzz around getting back together and out of the big smoke.
We left Auckland early on Saturday morning and after a couple of food stops, a lot of banging tunes and a bit of van karaoke, we eventually made our way to the beautiful Clive.
Everyone was a bit fatigued after the big trip, so that afternoon we had a light training session to get the blood flowing again. If you didn't already know, the Hearts struggle with warm up games such as grid-iron.. whether its passing to the opposition, bowling your team mates over, or getting far too serious for our own good, you can imagine the mayhem that a bunch of fatigued players can cause in a warm up game.
However, we survived and a couple of hours later we had trained, eaten and were setting alarms for 4am to get up and watch the All Blacks semi-final. We'll all be backing black this Sunday morning that's for sure!
Despite the early wake up call, we were ready and raring to go in our match against Wellington that day. Within 50 over's we managed to take 13 wickets and then comfortably score runs, with Macca (Sara McGlashan) and Wolfy (Anna Peterson) sharing a 100 run partnership. It was a comprehensive first up performance from us and it was great to be able to put what we had practiced into play.
We learnt two key lessons that day. The first was about the effects of eating too many prunes in one sitting... take my advice and don't do it! Secondly, was the importance of sunscreen. Safe to say that there were some burnt arms and faces that evening.
With another game against CD the next day, and some fairly tired ladies, it was an early night for all in Clive.
Monday morning, after packing the van we made our way back to Nelson Park for our final pre-season match of the long weekend. It was a 40 over game this time and we batted first. A strong opening partnership between the ever reliable Sam and Vic set the standard and we scored 200+ from our 40. Despite a couple of sore bodies, we were able to restrict CD and gain valuable lessons about performing under pressure - that's something we'll definitely be working on ahead of our first domestic round.
It was another long drive home that night, but we made it back safely... well mostly. Katie Perkins was meant to be flying in to join us on Sunday, but a wee accident at work caused a slight change in plan. Fortunately, our superstar ginger is a tough cookie and will be right in no time!
Personally, it was great to see the sea of blue back out on the park and I can't wait to be a part of it again. Our first round is from Nov 27-29th where we're taking on Otago in a T20 and two One Dayers. This season we also get the awesome opportunity to play out on the Eden Park #2. Entry is free, so we'd love to see you there!
Until next time,
Christmas spirit was around the Hearts with the annual Secret Santa taking place. There were a lot of laughs, some great gifts and I'd have to say that the theme of the year has to have been cats! Cat toys, cat calendars, cat t shirts!
Anyway, it was a mixed bag down in Hamilton. We arrived at St Paul's Collegiate and knew ND were going to put in a weekend of strong performances with Nic Browne back on board for them adding invaluable experience and strength to both their batting and bowling line ups.
With the T20 up first, we won the toss and put them and despite getting off to a decent start with a run out in the 5th over and the pace bowlers all doing their jobs, unfortunately, ND (thanks to Browne and Gurrey) racked up an impressive 146 for the loss of only 2 wickets in their 20 overs. Holly the most economical with 0-19 off her 4 overs.
We knew that we would have to get going from ball one in our chase, however, we had the worst start imaginable with Sam and Macca going in the first over and Vic shortly after. This brought the dynamic Cornwall duo of Perky and Maddy to the crease and they made it look easy. Putting on an 109 partnership for the 4th wicket. Maddy played the innings of her career to date, absolutely demolishing their bowling attack and obtaining a PB with 74 runs off only 55 balls. A mix up run out saw Maddy depart but we knew we had the batters to get us there.
Long story short, we needed a 6 off the last ball to win - 5 needed to draw with Perky facing up. Perky gave it her absolute best, smashed it up and over mid wicket and it pulled up agonizingly short with just one bounce before rocketing over the boundary for 4. In the end we lost by only a single run but we took away a lot of positives and a lot of confidence from the way the batters (particularly Maddy and Perks) got us back into a position to win that game.
Day 2 was a 50 over game and we were determined to make up for the day before and what a difference a day makes! ND won the toss and thought they'd bat again to try to replicate the result from yesterday. Brilliant work from Holly and Roz saw the big run scorers from the day before depart in the first and second over - neither one troubling the scorers. A direct hit run out in the 6th over sent Dodd packing and ND never really recovered. They limped along to 142 all out in their 50 overs and our bowling card made for some nice reading. Regina Lilii again taking PB one day figures with 4 for only 16 runs off her 10 overs and Holly again, economical with 1 for 18 off her 10.
The batters were composed in their chase knowing that there wasn't really any scoreboard pressure, however, that didn't stop Macca from smashing an easy 96* from just 87 balls and chasing down the total with only 32 overs required.
Bonus point secured and an early finish, the girls enjoyed the evening back at the Novotel relaxing and some even ventured down the road to Skycity...unfortunately, no one hit the jackpot!
And then there was rain. It rained and rained and rained. All day. Some ventured out to the mall and found a pet store but when we returned to the ground at 1pm for lunch, the game was called and that was it. Points shared and time to head back home.
Even with a washout we're still 2 points clear at the top of the one day table and we're looking forward to the next 2 rounds - Canterbury at Lincoln and Wellington at Karori so it will be a tough test but we're up for the challenge.
A huge shout out and congrats to the Auckland U21 girls - especially Vic (the coach...no she most definitely is not U21), Lauren, Arlene, Georgia, and Tash for taking out the title of National Champions down at Lincoln last week! Good stuff girls. Super proud!
From all of the Hearts Family, we wish you a very happy and safe festive season and we'll post another blog updating our next 2 rounds early in the New Year. Don't forget to follow us onTwitter and Facebook!
What a start to the season!
The Hearts camp was feeling fairly relaxed after last weekend's team bonding quiz night fun Perky took out the award for best ‘My Life’ as a Movie Title..(we won't repeat what it was!) and the celebration of our young Georgia's 21st birthday. All the girls were on their best behaviour (of course) evidenced by the thousands of selfies taken) knowing that we were just 7 days out from the season opener. After weeks and weeks of winter training and preparation, we were confident heading into the first round against last year's One-Day winners Otago and that confidence brought results. We gained maximum points from the weekend and we've headed straight to the top of both the T20 and One-Day points tables.
You wouldn't have even known that the squad includes a number of newbies - brand spanking new coach Elfriede Chooi, Anna Peterson, Lily Mulivai and Tash van Tilburg - as they've slotted in seamlessly and become a part of the Hearts family.
Now the cricket..the cricket was awesome. There were a number of milestones and records broken for the Hearts over the course of the weekend and we have to mention them all!
Personal best T20 bowling by Regina Lili'i with 3 for 26.
Personal best T20 bowling by Sam Curtis with 3 for 17.
Personal best One-Day bowling for Roz McNeill with 3 for 29.
Personal best One-Day bowling again for Regina with 3 for 25.
A record 2nd wicket partnership for Auckland against any team of 153 runs between Sam and Sara McGlashan.
Macca also reached 3500 runs in the national One-Day competition and she got her highest One-Day score of 112 (off only 88 balls as well)!
Personal best One-Day bowling by Lulu Matthews with 4 for 22.
Personal best One-Day bowling (improving again on her Saturday PB figures) by Roz with 3 for 21.
Victoria Lind reached 2000 runs in the national One-Day competition.
It wasn't all smooth sailing though - in fact the first delivery the Hearts bowled on Friday, was pumped out of the park (literally) by Otago's Suzie Bates for 6 runs and couldn't be found so a brand new ball had to be dug out by the umpires before play continued. Fortunately though with some excellent bowling and fielding all round the girls pulled it back. Bowling first in all 3 matches (and walking out to the classic tune "Reach" by S Club 7), super angry and mean (yeah right) strike bowler Holly Huddleston lead the bowlers and they did an excellent job restricting Otago to 96, 174 and 102 on each of the days. The batters, led by Opener and Captain Vic, were fairly clinical in their chases, with only the top 4 batters required for the entire weekend. Smile Perky - when you don't have to bat, it's a good thing! (Perky had to endure a lot of pad rash this weekend).
Thank you so much to our new DJs Tash and Lauren who provided epic music for the weekend, Pure Delish for sponsoring our player of the day prizes and Suebo Manager, Matt (Hendo), Matt (Payno), the scorers, umpires and of course all of our friends, family and supporters.
Make sure you follow us on twitter @AucklandHearts to keep up to date and you have to check out all of the super good looking photos which can be found on the Hearts Supporters Page on Facebook! Next blog will be after our next round vs ND in Hamilton from the 12th to 14th December so you can see what we get up to when the Hearts go on tour!