WITH 174 runs needed for victory and a spot in the one-day semi-finals up for grabs, Brothers had all the incentive they needed for a good batting performance on Saturday.
But there was little they could do as Rhys O'Sullivan produced possibly the most inspired spell of new-ball bowling this season to reduce the Brethren to rubble.
Brothers were all out for 68 as O'Sullivan finished with a remarkable 5-3 at Mark Marsh Oval in the final round of one-day fixtures.
He claimed five of Brothers' top-six batters.
"He bowled a bit quicker than he normally does," said Centrals' half-century maker Luke Barrett.
"He got a bit of movement early, nipping it around and getting edges."
It was a well-deserved reward for the South Queensland representative, who has bowled well without the big rewards this summer.
"He's been really unlucky," Barrett said.
He's had a few dropped catches off his bowling and not claimed as many wickets as he could have.
"He's had a few dropped catches off his bowling and not claimed as many wickets as he could have."
O'Sullivan doubled his season tally yesterday and resigned Brothers to missing out on the one-day finals this summer.
Centrals, who finished third on the one-day ladder and will play Laidley in their semi-final on Sunday, looked anything but finalists as they slumped to 6-66 batting first.
Brothers' fast bowlers Jared Lindley (2-25) and Mark Sharrad (2-36) put their team into a strong position as they sliced through Centrals' top order.
Only Rowan Lutter (34) showed meaningful resistance among Centrals' top five.
It was left to number six Barrett (50 not out) and wicket-keeper Indy Singh (51 not out) to set a decent target with a 90-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
"I just wanted to be sure we batted the full 45 overs and posted a decent score," Barrett said of his goals when he came to the crease.
"I think it was a new-ball wicket.
It moved around for both teams early on. But when I was in, it didn't do too much.
"It moved around for both teams early on. But when I was in, it didn't do too much."
Spin bowling all-rounder Barrett was elevated to the top six due to Ben O'Connell's absence and the circumstances played into his hands.
"It was a good opportunity to have a bat," he said.
"I like a bit of time to get in because I'm not the biggest of hitters. It let me build my innings."
With Brothers bowling a disciplined line, most of Barrett's runs came between point and mid-off.
Barrett played the perfect foil to the aggressive Singh when the wicket-keeper joined him in the middle. "He played his shots," Barrett said. "Hit a few boundaries and took the pressure off."
Barrett doesn't foresee any impending move up the order despite Saturday's half-century following a century and a 40 before Christmas.
"At this stage I don't mind," he said.
"I get to come in when the pressure's a bit off.
"It's not a bad place to bat."
With 173 on the board, Centrals knew it would be tough for Brothers to chase, even before O'Sullivan's heroics.
"We were really confident because the outfield was thick and slow," Barrett said.
"We knew if we got a few early wickets, we were a big chance."
Eastern Taipans claimed fourth spot on the one-day ladder, beating Swifts by three wickets at Ivor Marsden 1 to set up a semi-final against Northsiders on Sunday.
- Northsiders 53
- Laidley 44
- Central Districts 34
- Eastern Taipans 26
- Brothers 17
- Swifts 8
- Alberton 0
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