Blue dogs in stale­mate

Broth­ers cruise ahead to fi­nals

Gatton Star - - SPORT - Cal­lum Dick Cal­[email protected]

WAYNE Jones’ feel­ings to­ward his own in­nings mir­rored that of his views on Cen­trals’ bat­ting per­for­mance af­ter day one of the bat­tle for the IWMCA First Grade mi­nor premier­ship con­cluded at Bichel Oval on Satur­day.

Cen­trals fin­ished the day at 8/225, with Jones fall­ing ag­o­nis­ingly short of a half-cen­tury to be out on 49, while Dave Tyler (51) im­pressed in the Kook­abur­ras’ mid­dle or­der.

Jones de­scribed his in­nings as “a bit rusty and a bit scratchy” be­fore cat­e­goris­ing the 225 to­tal as slightly un­der par.

“I would have liked to get an­other 25 runs. I think 250 is prob­a­bly par for the day, but we still have two bat­ters left who can push (the to­tal) up,” Jones said.

“(Lai­d­ley) have a pretty strong bat­ting line-up, so we can’t be com­pla­cent.”

Jones was full of praise for the per­for­mance of Tyler to get to 51 on a “pitch that was play­ing a few tricks”.

“Benny Gib­son and Alex Welsh had us tied down with dot ball pres­sure,” Jones said of the Lai­d­ley bowl­ing at­tack.

Gib­son (4/62) and Welsh (3/68) made the break­throughs, but it was Michael Topp (1/11 off 10 overs) who re­ally made life dif­fi­cult for the Cen­trals’ bats­men with his pace.

The mi­nor premier­ship race is still firmly in the bal­ance. “It’s good get­ting to the last week of the sea­son not know­ing what the make-up for the fi­nals will be,” Jones said.

“They’ll feel con­fi­dent to chase our to­tal down, and we’ll feel con­fi­dent to bowl them out.”

At Strollers, Broth­ers kept their chances of a sec­ond-placed fin­ish alive with a day one de­mo­li­tion job of Red­backs.

Mick Ridgewell made 122 and former Red­back Cameron Wood fin­ished on 73 not out, as the Brethren de­clared at 6/317 be­fore rolling Red­backs for just 59 in re­ply.

Broth­ers will have a whole day to bowl at a seem­ingly frag­ile Red­backs line-up as they eye an out­right vic­tory, and a road back into the top two, should Lai­d­ley lose to Cen­trals.

PHOTO: CORDELL RICHARD­SON

SEND THEM DOWN: Lai­d­ley's Ben Gib­son put in a strong bowl­ing per­for­mance against Cen­trals.

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