THE Ipswich Pioneers Webb Shield game on Sunday bears an international flavour when Ipswich takes on Papua New Guinea at Baxter Oval.
This is the first season that the PNG side has played in the SEQ Webb Shield competition and currently sits at the top of the ladder with Toowoomba.
Some of the PNG players were part of the East Asia Pacific team that played a "friendly" against an Ipswich Invitational side on New Years Day, and then went on to play at the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Bundaberg.
Cricket in PNG has benefited from having coaches of the calibre of Andy Bichel spend time there, as well as some young players attending schools in Australia.
To have any chance of playing in the final, Ipswich would need to beat PNG and Tweed District needs to score a good win over Gold Coast.
The match starts at 9.30am and should be worth watching as the flair, passion and obvious enjoyment shown by the PNG players was apparent to all who saw the game on New Year's Day.
It is a double header for the Pioneers tomorrow as the Plunkett Cup game is on Marsden No.1 where Ipswich plays a team from Brisbane Sub Districts.
This is a must-win game for the Pioneers, as a win should see them play in the final against Toowoomba.
In previous years, the Sub Districts team comprised some players with Brisbane Grade experience and has been a difficult team to beat.
They are placed second behind Toowoomba but a win tomorrow by Ipswich would see the Pioneers leapfrog Sub Districts and move into second spot. This match also starts at 9.30am.
THERE has been a feast of junior cricket over the holiday period and Ipswich players have been to the fore.
At the Under-15 Development Carnival in Bundaberg earlier this month, Ipswich boys Toby Janke and Nathan Burge were selected in a T20 merit team to play the curtain-raiser to the Australian Country team's match against a Brisbane Heat Invitational XI.
Janke was a consistent all-rounder during the carnival with scores of 77 (from 49 balls) against Gold Coast and 66 (from 59 balls) against Darling Downs-South West, as well as a haul of four wickets in the same game. In another game, Callum Chandler took the bowling honours, capturing the first five wickets before finishing with the outstanding figures of 6-30 from 11 overs.
The other Ipswich boys, Nathan Burge, Luke Muggeridge and Cameron Morris, all helped the SEQ team secure third spot on the ladder, slipping from first place after a hard-fought loss to Gold Coast on the final day.
Congratulations to the young Pioneers Ian Healy Cup team for making it back-to-back wins in the two years they have played at this carnival.
After winning the first four games, the team went down narrowly to Metropolitan South West in the final match, but stayed on top of the points ladder.
It was a real team effort.
Among those to rate special mention were Tom Cupit, with scores of 50 not out and 44, Will Kraschnefski with 44, 34 and 48, and Riley Bichel, who bowled well with figures of 2-9, 2-27 and 3-8.
In each game there were different standout players, including Harry Berlin (36 and 2-13), Zeb Townsley (32 not out, 17 and 2-16), Brad Zampech (28 and 14), Angus Moody-Stone (2-19 and 3-16) and Nick Moyer (34 runs).
These are the players of the future that will keep Ipswich cricket strong and feed the Ipswich Logan Hornets.
IN the past week, the inaugural Les Kinnane Under-13 Development Carnival was played at the Marsden Sports centre.
Four teams from Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and Brisbane East played three 50-over games followed by three T20 games over the five days.
More details from this carnival will be available next week.
There have been many favourable comments from the visiting teams about the quality of the facility and the general organisation of the carnival.
It seems assured that this carnival will continue to grow in future years, and become a key fixture for junior cricket in south east Queensland.
On Monday night, Brothers play Eastern Taipans in the T20 game at Mark Marsh Oval.
Brothers will be hoping to improve on last week's result that saw them beaten by the Laidley Blue Dogs. The game starts at 6.30pm.
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