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Hollie Armitage backs the Diamonds to bounce back after Blaze defeat

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Northern Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage believes her side didn’t play their best cricket as they were condemned to their first defeat of the 2023 Charlotte Edwards Cup by The Blaze at Chester-Le-Street.

An unbeaten 67 from Sarah Bryce saw the Midlands outfit meant it was them, and not the Diamonds, who picked up their fifth successive victory, qualifying for Finals Day at Worcester in the process.

The loss means Armitage’s side require at least one win from their final two games to book their place at New Road, with the captain believing the Diamonds are in a good place to bounce back from this.

She said: “We’re a bunch of fighters who are playing their cricket the way we want to play. We like to entertain the crowd, and we are doing that very well.

“T20 cricket is a bit of a funny game. You win some, you lose some, there are different games that you play.

“We’ve got a lot of character. We’ve lost games of cricket before – it’s not the end of the world.”
It was Armitage’s decision to bat at the Seat Unique Riverside after winning the toss, a decision aiming to bat her opponents out the game. However, it was a gamble which didn’t pay off, with The Blaze chasing down their target with 4.2 overs remaining.

Despite this, the batter stuck by her method, saying; “It looked like a fresh wicket, a good wicket,

“Maybe it did do a bit early doors, but we wanted to put a big total on the board, which we didn’t achieve.

“As a result, we’re always on the back foot a little bit. Despite the result, I think the way we bowled showed a lot of character.”

The 30-year-old had a mixed day with the bat herself, with her run-a-ball 23 seeing her pass two hundred runs for the tournament, but getting out looking to attack Kirstie Gordon’s bowling.

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This intent is representative of Armitage’s wider goal of always doing what she thinks is best for the team, which is more important to her than any personal accolade.

She said: “[Reaching 200 runs] felt great, but I’m only scoring runs to hopefully put in match-winning performances for the team.

“In T20 cricket, we’re looking to strike the ball hard and keep the runs flowing, no matter what, so that’s always my job to do that.

“I’m happy with the way I’m hitting the ball at the minute, but I care more about the results of the team – that’s the most important thing.

“If I can contribute, whether it is captaining, batting, in the field, or even bowling, it is a big win for me.”

Despite the Diamonds’ excellent start, seeing the side pick up four wins from four, they go into their fixture against the Southern Vipers knowing defeat would set up a must-win final fixture if they wanted to qualify.

However, as captain, Armitage fully believes in her side to do what is necessary to take them all the way.

She said: “The girls know what they need to do to take wickets, to reduce runs, so my job as skipper is really easy.

“I just talk to them, make sure they’re okay and they’re clear on what they need to do.

“Momentum is key in this competition. We didn’t play our best cricket today, and we’ve got to turn that around against the Vipers.”


  • Seth Nobes

    Seth, 21, is an editor at the Sports Gazette specialising in cricket. He has experience commentating and writing on a variety of different sports, ranging from football and rugby to lacrosse and fencing. A Watford fan probably more annoyed at the sacking of managers than you.