Brothers crash to pace pair
BROTHERS saw their season disintegrate in the space of 15 runs as they lost to Northsiders at Ivor Marsden 2 on Saturday.
Chasing 201 for a first innings win, Brothers were on track at 3-144 before their batting order capitulated in the face of a pace onslaught from Kev Cumming and Rob Hillier.
Brothers lost 7-15 and are 15 points adrift of third-placed Northsiders with two rounds of the Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association Division One competition remaining.
Northsiders should extend that next round against bottom-placed Swifts, while Brothers play competition leaders Laidley.
Brothers’ batting was always their concern this season but that was alleviated to a degree by the recruitment of Jason Richardson.
With first drop Richardson (68) and number four, wicket-keeping all-rounder Luke Dixon (53), rolling along, Brothers looked to have the target well within reach as they put on 105 for the third wicket.
Once they were removed, by Hillier (3-37) and Cumming (6-24) respectively, Brothers’ lack of batting depth was cruelly exposed.
“We’re pumped,” Northsiders captain Marcus Hillier said.
“They were looking good but we always thought if we broke that partnership, we might have had a sniff. We knew we were always in with half a chance.
“Chasing runs is always hard, there’s always pressure. We always thought once we got one or two wickets, we might go through them.
“It was in the back of our minds that we bowled them out for 20 in the first round.”
That day Cumming took 5-5 and Rob 4-12 and it must have seemed like an unwanted case of deja vu for the Brethren.
The deadly duo inspired Northsiders’ premiership triumph last season and is in the form to suggest a repeat is a distinct possibility. “I wouldn’t swap them,” Marcus said. “They just put the ball in the right areas.
“Kevvie’s girlfriend gave birth the night before and he’d had not much sleep but he was pumped.
“He wanted the ball in his hand.”
Cumming had removed both Brothers openers before he and Rob Hillier had a rest, during which Richardson and Dixon found their range.
“Ryan (Marschke) and (Aaron) Nugter did a good job,” Marcus said of his first change bowlers. “(The batters) were just comfortable and the wicket was as flat as a tack. We had tea, then Robbie and Kev took one end each. They don’t bowl too many bad balls.”
Marcus declined to reveal what was in the tea but it has Northsiders one step closer to an all-important top-three finish, which would ensure finals cricket, with nearest rivals Brothers almost out of the running.
Northsiders’ next opponents Swifts fell to their fifth outright defeat of the season to Strollers/Raiders at Baxter Oval on Saturday.
Strollers/Raiders (2-150 declared) were not required to bat a second time, with Swifts dismissed for 65 second time round, after making 77 in their first innings. Craig Cumming took 5-14 in Swifts’ second innings with Mark Lehmann claiming 4-9.