Laidley batsman Ben O'Connell has guided his team to a handy position on the first weekend of the Cricket Ipswich first division grand final: Picture: QT file
Laidley batsman Ben O'Connell has guided his team to a handy position on the first weekend of the Cricket Ipswich first division grand final: Picture: QT file

Ben’s praise for ground staff as Laidley takes charge

IN the driving seat unbeaten on 43, accomplished Laidley batsman Ben O'Connell is happy with his team's grand final position after the first weekend.

Laidley already has a 64 run lead after dismissing Centrals for 75 before lunch on Saturday morning.

Against the team he captained in the 2016/17 season, O'Connell took his time in the unpredictable weather conditions to guide his junior club to 7/139 off their 53 overs.

"With a four-day final, you've got a bit more time on your hands, which is great,'' the former Queensland Country left-handed batsman said.

"I just want to occupy the crease and bat a long period of time.

"I went in straight after the tea break so just focused on that in that two-hour session.''

Laidley bowling spearhead Liam Dean earlier snared 5/26 on day one of the first division final at Walker Oval.

"He's just been putting the ball in the right spot pretty much all year and bowling really consistently,'' O'Connell said.

O'Connell also praised the Ivor Marsden Sporting Complex grounds staff led by Craig Jesberg for getting the match started on time.

"They put in a heap of work. It was an amazing effort,'' O'Connell said.

"With everything that was around, Jezza has done a phenomenal job getting the wicket up ready to play for Saturday.''

Living close to West Moreton Anglican College where he teaches, O'Connell knew how much rain had fallen leading up to the game.

Yet play was able to start at 10am on Saturday before Sunday's washout.

"The wicket was pretty hard and everything. It was just with the rain that had been around, there was a little bit in the outfield,'' the unbeaten middle order batsman said.

"But Saturday, we got on which was great.''

Hoping to share in his first senior grand final win with Laidley, O'Connell said his team was keen to extend its lead before seeing what the weekend conditions holds.

He has played in three Ipswich and two Gold Coast finals in the past six years.

Laidley are first division minor premiers this season.

SUCCESSFUL FORMULA: Why Laidley such a powerful club

The powerful country club is also well placed in the second division grand final, having dismissed Northsiders for 157.

The Blue Dogs were 1/42 in reply.

"They are going okay as well. They are in bit of a similar situation,'' O'Connell said.

STATE OF PLAY

1st Division grand final: 1 - Laidley District v 2 - Central Districts at Ray Walker Oval

Centrals 1st Innings

Cameron Osborne c Ilka b Dean 3 (17)

Tim Weber c Ilka b Dean 2 (15)

Lachlan Vellacott st Ilka b Crack 1 (5)

Caleb Risson b Crack 0 (10)

Harry Dobson c O'Connell b Dean 0 (8)

Wayne Jones not out 23 (90)

Mick Abbott b Dean 4 (20)

David Tyler lbw Welsh 23 (45)

Rhys O'Sullivan b Neuendorf 1 (7)

Alex Dell lbw Neuendorf 0 (4)

Brendan Ashton c Ilka b Dean 12 (27)

Extras (1b 3lb 2nb) 6

Total (41.1ov) 75

FoW: 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 12, 55, 56, 56, 75.

Bowling: Liam Dean 11.1/4/26/5 (2nb); Craig Crack 12/4/17/2; Alex Welsh 11/4/16/1; Shanley Neuendorf 7/3/12/2.

Laidley 1st Innings

Chris Wilson b Dell 44 (70)

Jason Cubit run out (Abbott) 9 (39)

Alex Welsh c O'Sullivan b Abbott 10 (37)

Michael Sippel c Jones b Dell 2 (5)

Ben O'Connell not out 43 (83)

Matthew Grassick c & b Jones 5 (18)

Shanley Neuendorf b Jones 8 (31)

Terry Emerson lbw Vellacott 13 (34)

Travis Ilka not out 0 (1)

Extras (1b 2lb 1w) 4

Total (53ov) 7/139

FoW: 45, 61, 63, 76, 92, 114, 138

Bowling: Rhys O'Sullivan 14/5/16/0; Brendan Ashton 6/1/20/0;Lachlan Vellacott 6/0/21/1; Alex Dell 8/1/33/2; Michael Abbott 8/3/8/1 (1w); Wayne Jones 10/2/37/2; Harry Dobson 1/0/1/0.

2nd Division: 1-Laidley District v 2-Northsiders at Marsden No.2.

Northsiders 1st Innings

Trent Kammholz c McQuilty b J. Adamski 37 (191)

Nick Drain b M. Adamski 45 (54)

Brent Croker b M. Adamski 3 (13)

Cameron Beutel c Pratt b M. Adamski 0 (9)

Ashley McPaul lbw J. Adamski 23 (63)

Mitch Harsant c Freiberg b McQuilty 13 (29)

Jeff Maroske c ? b Lehmann 15 (25)

Troy Noe c Jo Adamski b McQuilty 6 (14)

Grieg Cumming lbw J. Adamski 1 (11)

Billy Harsant c Freiberg b Lehmann 2 (34)

Tom Weier not out 1 (19)

Extras (4b 3lb 2w 2nb) 11

Total (76.2ov) 157

FoW: 58, 70, 74, 113, 125, 136, 149, 154, 154, 157

Bowling: Shane Lehmann 10.2/7/11/2; Jordan Adamski 12/3/36/2; Mark Adamski 9/4/8/3; Jared Adamski 12/4/26/1; Darryl Muckert 11/3/22/0; Jonty Freiberg 2/0/4/0; Jackson McQuilty 20/6/43/2.

Laidley 1st Innings

Lawrence Pratt not out 57 (177)

Ross Mitchell c Cumming b B. Harsant 17 (25)

Jordan Adamski c Cumming b M. Harsant 16 (56)

Corey Jackwitz not out 37 (77)

Extras (2b 4lb) 6

Total (55.5ov) 2/132

FoW: 27, 56

Bowling: Billy Harsant 17/3/35/1; Taylor Weier 16/1/43/0; Mitch Harsant 13/0/31/1; Troy Noe 2/0/6/0; Jeff Maroske 7.5/3/11/0.



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