Northern Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage remains confident of retaining Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy crown

CAPTAIN Hollie Armitage says the Northern Diamonds will “hit the ground running” when they resume the defence of their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy crown in September.

Armitage scored a confident 48 before rain killed off Saturday’s clash against Southern Vipers at Arundel.

With the Diamonds on 105-4 after 25.4 overs rain came down and after three hours, the umpires Ben Peverall and Ant Harris called things off at 5:20pm – with the two teams each taking two points.

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The Vipers and Diamonds have contested each of the first three Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy finals – Vipers leading the battle 2-1 – but both are in danger of missing out on the knockout stage this year.

FRUSTRATION: Northern Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.comFRUSTRATION: Northern Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage Picture by Alex Whitehead/
FRUSTRATION: Northern Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage Picture by Alex Whitehead/

Vipers had lost four of their nine matches, while Diamonds’ defence has waivered with three straight defeats – therefore finding a way to get a result, and promoting their chance of progression, was in everyone’s interest.

The first of the Diamonds’ remaining four group games – with 20 points to play for – comes against the Vipers at South Northumberland CC on September 5.

“It’s good that we have the Vipers again straight after the Hundred so we can showcase this little battle that we have with them,” said Armitage. “If you are on a bit of a losing streak, it’s nice to have a bit of a break for the Hundred and re-collaborate with the girls.

"Hopefully, September’s a strong period for us.

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“This season is a really long season. The girls who are in the Hundred, I wish them luck and hopefully they put on some performances for whatever team they’re playing for.

“And the girls who have got a breather, I hope they can keep their games moving forward at training and things like that.

“Then we’ll all get together again in September and hit the ground running.”

Vipers’ captain Georgia Adams won the toss and chose to bowl, the natural choice with rain around, and saw here opening bowlers stall the Diamonds innings with a tight start.

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Stere Kalis only survived until the third over when Australian fast bowler Maitlan Brown found her outside edge, with Adams completing the catch at first slip.

Mary Taylor entered the attack and bowled Lauren Winfield-Hill with her first delivery as the ball dipped into her middle stump.

Armitage and Emma Marlow recovered things with a 58-run stand, with Armitage dominating the stand with 36 of the runs.

Batting took work and Armitage went back to basics in waiting for bad balls to capitalise on with seven boundaries split square of the wicket on either side.

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She fell two balls short of a second fifty of the tournament when Adams found a thin edge behind, with Rebecca Duckworth bowled the very next ball.

The hat-trick ball was negotiated successfully before rain came down and ended play in the 26th over.

“You travel all this way and see rain like this, it’s not ideal,” added Armitage.

“But you can’t do anything about the weather. It’s just one of those things.”

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