Swifts aim high after rolling Brothers
SWIFTS have made a major statement with their round two win over last year's grand finalists Brothers.
The Bluebirds were elated just to have played a semi-final last season but this summer they have their sights set higher.
After posting 291 in their innings last weekend, Swifts dismantled the Brothers batting line-up for a massive 202-run first innings victory.
Dylan Hickson (3-26), Cameron Wood (3-33) and Andrew Pratt (3-5) combined to dismiss Brothers for 89.
Only four Brothers batsmen reached double figures with top score going to Jacob Sarra.
He hit 18 not out before stumps last weekend but was unable to resume on day two due to work commitments.
"We were very happy considering in the semi-final last year we were comprehensively beaten by Brothers," Swifts all-rounder Tom Douglas said.
"A few of the older guys were saying it was one of the better wins we've had."
After batting on a flat track on day one, Swifts were able to take advantage of a ball that continued to swing throughout the Brothers innings. "It was a slow deck," Douglas said.
"There's no doubt about that.
"We were getting it to swing around a bit, being patient and bowling in partnerships and they crumbled.
"We felt once we got Michael Ridgewell (6), Craig Cumming (16) and Luke Dixon (0) out, we could roll through them pretty quickly."
The difference to Swifts this season is the addition of former Brothers all-rounder Hickson who hit 63 runs in Swifts innings.
But reaching last year's semi-final has convinced the young Bluebirds they can mix it with the best in Ipswich.
Hickson and Wood removed all the recognised Brothers batsmen, justifying captain Nathan Hooper's tactics.
"They're our strike bowlers so we're using them in short spells from one end while others, like Andrew Pratt and myself, tie up the other end," Douglas said.
"Dylan has made a big difference but everyone has grown up a bit.
"We're still a very young team.
"Last year, when things would go against us, we'd drop our heads.
"This year we're really working hard together and working for each other.
"Last year the goal was to come mid-table.
"To squeeze into the semi-final was outstanding for the club.
"We really want to build on that this year and get into the grand final."
It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Brethren on Saturday.
In their second innings, after following on, they reached 2-228 with Michael Ridgewell hitting a sparkling unbeaten 120.
In the weekend's other two-day match, Central Districts defeated Eastern Taipans outright at Mark Marsh Oval.