THROUGHOUT her illustrious cricket career, St Georges Basin's Joanne Kelly will be the first to admit she's had plenty of high and low points.
Her adversity filled 2019/20 campaign optimises that.
The 44-year-old's season started with St George-Sutherland in Sydney's Women's Premier Cricket competition - a league she first started as a 15-year-old with Campbelltown.
After a stint with the Ghosts, she then played for Berala (thanks to her relationship with Bob and Dot Brewer) and Gordon - playing alongside Australian representatives Lisa Sthalekar and Bronwyn Calver - before joining the Slayers after having kids.
"This season has been a very different one for me," Kelly, who's now played 10 seasons with the Slayers, said.
"I went through most of the season with different leg injuries such as knee problems, hamstring strains, quad strains - I guess my age is catching up with me a bit.
"Most people would have taken time out to recover but with the Women's BBL and players leaving due to work commitments, our club suffered quite a lot and we struggled to put a team together most weeks - it was hard to overcome when I didn't stop playing.
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"I couldn't let the team down so I continued to play - I didn't contribute with the bat as much as I would have liked but I was there doing my best for the team each week."
Fortunately for Kelly, her side had numerous weeks off - after Christmas - due to poor air quality, rain and the Women's T20 World Cup final, which allowed her to start to rehabilitate.
"I have been working hard in the gym to strengthen the areas of weakness and my body is now feeling really good - also helped by the support of BaiMed Physiotherapy in Nowra and Astute Physiotherapy in Ulladulla," she said.
"The combination of the two treatments has been amazing and my body is really benefitting from it now.
"This along with my current gym program has really got me through the season.
"I will continue to increase my strength and fitness over the off-season in preparation for a much better season next year."
Due to their strain on player numbers, Kelly's Slayers, which also features West Cambewarra's Naomi Woods, also had an up and down season.
"For what we had to deal with throughout the season, the team can be proud for turning up each week and putting a performance in and being competitive," Kelly, who scored 221 runs this season with the Slayers, said.
"There were quite a few games that were very close and could have gone either way but we were on the wrong end of those results.
"We are coming away with the wooden spoon, but the club will learn from this and are looking at how we can improve in the future.
"There are a lot of junior players in the club who over the next few years will move up into first grade and perform well - the future looks bright.
"I know the core group of players we had in first grade this year are all looking forward to a fresh start next season, with some new protocols in place to give us the best chance of performing our best and hopefully making finals.
"We were finalists in both the Twenty20 and 50-over competitions only a couple of seasons ago and we look forward to being back in that position."
To be out there playing on the SCG, knowing the history that had been made on that field, was sensationalJoanne Kelly
While Kelly's first grade side may have finished in last place, the club took out the club championship.
"Everyone at the Slayers is very proud to have won that award and it highlights the depth at our club and our ability to produce consistent performances," she said.
While her club cricket may not have been as successful as she had hoped, Kelly also played for numerous representatives teams - including the Illawarra Flames, which made it the to Regional Bash semi-finals before losing to the ACT Aces at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
"That was a totally amazing experience," she said.
"To be out there playing on the SCG, knowing the history that had been made on that field, was sensational.
"We all made sure we really took our time to take it all in.
"Batting on one of the best wickets in the country was awesome.
"The difficultly we had was that we had only played one game together prior to this match and we had five changes from the first game we played at Wollongong University.
"We didn't really know each other, didn't know our strengths and weaknesses or even who could really bat and bowl.
"Nonetheless, it is a great concept and I look forward to being part of the team again next year and hopefully go one step further."
Kelly also represented the NSW Bush Breakers at the Australian Country Championships for the second straight season.
"Due to the fire situation in January, I arrived in Toowoomba a couple of days after the rest of the team and missed the first few games," Kelly, who represented the Australian over 35 women's team in 2016, said.
"Once again, we didn't play to our potential and couldn't put a full game together.
"We made the semi-finals, however, were beaten by South Australia, who ended up losing to East Asia Pacific in the final."
With this season in the rear vision mirror, Kelly is already looking ahead to next year.
"At this point in time, my main focus [heading into next season] is to enhance my strength and fitness - to help prevent injuries from occurring, especially in my legs," she said.
"I know I can still contribute and score runs when I am fully fit and to be honest, that's when it's most enjoyable.
"When your body feels good and you know you can rely on it, the game is a lot more fun.
"I still love being out there in the field with my teammates, enjoying the sunshine, breathing the fresh air.
"I am so grateful that I am still able to get out there and compete."
Unfortunately, the Australian Masters Indoor Tournament, to be held in Darwin, later in the year, has been cancelled, due to the coronavirus.
"It is a bit of unknown territory for me as I am usually always working towards something but other things are taking priority right now," she said.
"Once they sort themselves out, I'll reevaluate everything and set out some goals for myself on the field."