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HEARTS At Full Strength For HBJ Final

The return of four WHITE FERNS sees the HEARTS at full-strength ahead of Saturday's Hallyburton Johnstone Shield final against the Northern Spirit in Hamilton.

Lauren Down, Holly Huddleston, Katie Perkins and skipper Anna Peterson are set to add firepower to the HEARTS line-up after missing the final four matches of the round-robin.

Heading into the final, Bella Armstrong sits alongside the Spirit's Eimear Richardson with 22 wickets at the top of the competition's wicket-takers list.

The Spirit have had a season to remember and, entering their first-ever final, Peterson knows the HEARTS will be up for the challenge.

"The girls are really excited to get out there and play together once more as a team. There is a genuine buzz around the group and we will make sure we are prepared for whatever the Spirit have in store for us."

Peterson also reflected on the season so far.

"It's not every year you get to play in a final, let alone two.

"Regardless of how we go on Saturday, this season every player in our squad has stepped up and contributed to the success of the team."

Head coach Nick White knows Saturday's final is a testament to the commitment of the group.

"As a group of staff, we couldn't be prouder of how hard this group have worked through the winter and over the course of the season."

White also praised the development of new and senior players.

"This season has challenged the depth of our squad. The last four rounds presented an opportunity not only for HEARTS debutants which is always exciting, but also a chance for senior players to take their games to the next level as well.

"Credit must also go to Regina Lilii, who was handed the captaincy in Anna's absence. Regina did an outstanding job, bringing a calm composure to the group and proving what a quality leader she is."

MATCH DETAILS:

Auckland HEARTS vs. Northern Spirit

Saturday 14th March

Seddon Park

10.30 am

Auckland HEARTS squad | Hallyburton Johnstone Shield Final

Anna Peterson (c)

Bella Armstrong

Jane Barnett

Lauren Down

Amie Hucker

Holly Huddleston

Fran Jonas

Arlene Kelly

Tariel Lamb

Regina Lilii

Roz McNeill

Katie Perkins

Jesse Prasad

Saachi Shahri

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