A SPOT in the one-day semi-finals is at stake when the Ipswich Logan Premier League resumes today with the final round of one-day fixtures.
One-day minor premiers Northsiders have the bye but are assured of a semi-final spot, along with Laidley and Central Districts.
The one spot remaining will be fought out by Eastern Taipans and Brothers. Brothers host Central Districts at Mark Marsh Oval while Eastern Taipans travel to Ivor Marsden 1 to play Swifts.
Taipans have the advantage, as they sit a point above Brothers and play the lower placed team in Swifts. If they can win and progress to the semis it will be a triumph, irrespective of how they go from there.
Taipans - two-day premiers in 2010-11 and runners-up in 2011-12 - headed into the season in a state of disarray after the departure of seven of their first-choice team. They started the season accordingly but have turned the corner to become a tough, competitive unit.
"It would be a pretty good effort considering we weren't rated at the beginning of the year," Taipans captain Nathan Fisher said.
"Very pleasing considering what we've been through. We're starting to put wins together at the right end of the year."
Fisher always had faith there was a decent team in the making but, not surprisingly, it took some time to prove.
"It was a whole new team," he said. "The guys needed to get to know each other's games and get comfortable. It's very pleasing to be where we are."
There will be nothing pleasing for the Taipans if they lose today and Brothers win however.
"We're not looking any further than (today)," Fisher said.
"Swifts are no easy beats.
"On their day they can beat anyone. We're definitely not thinking we're a shoo-in.
"We're taking it seriously."
But Fisher believes if his team sticks to its plans and remains disciplined the Taipans will be finals bound.
"We've got to keep it tight when we're bowling," Fisher said.
"Get them under pressure because they've got a couple of guys who like to hit the ball.
"If we can put them under pressure and slow their hitting down we should be able to knock them over.
"Guys like Jarred Lacey and Cameron Wood, if we can get them out early, frustrate them, keep it tight and they've got to have a hit."
The captain is confident he's got the bowlers to do the job.
"Andy Doyle bowls pretty tight," Fisher said.
"And Russell (Clarkson), in his first year in the top grade, is getting better and better.
"He's starting to learn he can't bowl what he did in second grade."
With the bat, vice-captain Greg Jeffers is a key player, having made 100 last time the two teams met.
"Greg's got the experience on his shoulders," Fisher said.
"He knows his game and that ton gave him a lot of confidence."
If the likes of Doyle, Fisher, Tommy Douglass and Taylor Peach can make meaningful contributions around Jeffers, the Taipans will be hard to beat.
And if they do reach the semi-finals, Fisher knows anything is possible.
"Anything can happen on the day," he said.
"Some of our bats haven't fired and you only need a few to fire.
"We're not getting ahead of ourselves but if we do make it (into the semi-finals) we're confident we can beat anyone."
The one-day semi-finals will be played on Sunday, January 13 with the final a fortnight later on January 27.
- Brothers v Central Districts at Mark Marsh Oval
- Laidley v Alberton at Bichel Oval
- Swifts v Eastern Taipans at Ivor Marsden 1
- Northsiders bye
- Northsiders 53
- Laidley 36
- Central Districts 26
- Eastern Taipans 18
- Brothers 17
- Swifts 8
- Alberton 0
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