KEY ROLE: Centrals bowler Rhys O'Sullivan.
KEY ROLE: Centrals bowler Rhys O'Sullivan. Rob Williams

Allrounder's plan to deny Brothers' final bid

HAVING been with Centrals for more than 16 years, allrounder Rhys O'Sullivan is one of the most valuable players in the first division side.

As the defending premiers prepare to battle Brothers this weekend, that is especially the case.

O'Sullivan has been encouraged how Centrals have rallied this season after losing so many players from last season's historic grand final win over Laidley.

As one of the senior players leading the way, he knows Brothers pose a major threat at the Ivor Marsden Sporting Complex in the semi-final scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

"We're going to have a plan and stick to our plan and we're going to have to come out and play really good cricket I think,'' he said.

Stalwarts like Brothers captain David Richardson, Mitch Weatherhead, Mick Ridgewell and Luke Dixon have played in multiple finals.

"They bat so deep,'' O'Sullivan said, pinpointing one of Centrals' opponents main strengths.

"And they are all pretty consistent too. They're always going to play really tough cricket.''

However, Centrals have benefited from Boonah arrival Geoff Klease this season.

Opening the attack with O'Sullivan, Klease will have to make early inroads over the two days where 82 overs can be bowled, weather permitting.

"He's a big tall bowler. He's gone leaps and bounds with his bowling,'' O'Sullivan, 26, said.

Teaching children skills at a Karalee before and after school care centre, O'Sullivan also praised his captain and opening batsman Wayne Jones for his outstanding leadership after Centrals lost a core of quality cricketers.

"He's been our rock,'' the allrounder said.

"He will always give you 110 per cent no matter what.''

O'Sullivan has been in Centrals' first division side for nearly a decade, having started as a junior with the club.

Having made his first grade debut in November 2008, he's been encouraged by the Centrals newcomers stepping up this season.

"Considering we've only got three from the final still playing from last season, I think we'd had a pretty good effort,'' he said.

"Especially getting to know all the new blokes in the team has been really good.''

O'Sullivan's main role is building up pressure while taking valuable top order wickets.

His taken 160 wickets (average 19.05) from 94 matches, with a strike rate of 36.62 balls per wicket. His economy rate is 3.12 runs per over.

O'Sullivan's best haul with the ball is 5/3 aainst Brothers at Limestone Park in January, 2013.

He's scored 642 runs (average 20.06) with a high score of 57 against Swifts at Limestone Park in January, 2010.

Although third-placed Centrals would have preferred to play the semi-final at their Limestone Park base, O'Sullivan has no issues with the Ivor Marsden fields.

"I don't mind where we play,'' the loyal cricketer said.

The winner of this weekend's semi-final meets Laidley in the four-day grand final starting next weekend at Baxter Oval.

Centrals need to win outright to deny the reputable Brothers first division team another grand final opportunity.

Having shared in Centrals' victorious grand final effort ending a 26-year club drought, O'Sullivan wants another crack at the Bluedogs this season.

"It was fantastic. It was such a big effort,'' he said. "Especially now we've played one, we just want to play again.''

IWMCA semi-finals

1st Division Saturday and Sunday (from noon): Brothers v Centrals at Marsden No.2, Amberley.

2nd Division Saturday and Sunday (from noon): South East Redbacks vs Fassifern at Raleigh Oval, Redbank Plains.



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