PACE SETTERS: Laidley fast bowler Ben Gibson is spearheading the Blue Dogs’ revival this season.
PACE SETTERS: Laidley fast bowler Ben Gibson is spearheading the Blue Dogs’ revival this season. Rob Williams

Blue Dogs set the early pace

LAIDLEY is back, that's the clear message emerging in the Stumps Premier League after the Blue Dogs secured maximum points for the third time in as many outings this season.

The country boys dominated newcomers Alberton at Eagleby on Saturday for their second outright victory of the season after dominating Swifts a fortnight earlier.

With a double bonus point win from an opening round limited overs match against Taipans also in the bag, Laidley now sits clear at the top of the ladder with what can only be described as the perfect start to the season.

Opening bowler Ben Gibson said his team was satisfied with the rapid-fire start but was keeping the results in perspective.

"You can't do any better than what we've done, so I guess it's the perfect start," Gibson said.

"It has set the season up for us but to be fair we've probably played three sides that won't feature in the finals.

"Norths will be a different story this week.

"That will be a good indication of where we are at."

Ryan Hurley was the first innings star with the bat for the visitors scoring 92 in his first game for the club in two years.

Mick Sippel added 72 and took 5 wickets with the ball for the match as the Blue Dogs put Alberton's inexperienced line-up to the sword.

Laidley have endured two lean years after dominating the previous decade, with four first division titles from 2004-09.

Now, the sleeping giants of Ipswich cricket appear to have awoken but despite the fast start Gibson suggested his team's best was yet to come.

"I don't think we've played that well to be honest," he said.

"There are a lot of improvements to be made in our batting and fielding. Our bowling hasn't been too bad but our fielding on occasions has been pretty poor. If we can improve those parts of our game I think we can go a long way this year."

Gibson himself has hit the ground running this year, returning to his full run-up after coming off the short run last year following a knee reconstruction.

The club has also welcomed off-spinner Byron Cubit, brother of middle-order batsmen Jason, who has already made a mark in the bowling attack.

"Byron was living up in North Queensland for a few years," Gibson said.

"He's transferred back down to Ipswich. He got five wickets in the first game and a couple last week.

"He's a handy off spinner and has added a fair bit of depth to our bowling attack."

While Laidley have made the early season running, Alberton is quickly finding out where they stand in the Ipswich pecking order.

With one-day losses to Swifts and Northsiders and an outright loss in their only two-day fixture, the competition newcomers will have to find answers quickly before the season gets away from them.



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