Captain’s Melbourne Cup tip: Try picking this winner
PLAYER of the previous season Clare Gillett believes tipping this year's Ipswich first division champion team is like finding the Melbourne Cup winner.
It's that tight.
In the first four weeks of the annual Ipswich vigoro competition with one washout, Gillett's T.C United team has made a positive start with two wins.
That included their latest 48-run first inning success over Occasionals before the storms wiped out the Second Division matches at the East Ipswich grounds on Saturday.
"We've actually got quite a strong side on paper anyway this season going forward, which is great,'' the T.C United captain said.
In her eighth season playing in the Ipswich competition, Gillett welcomes seeing the first division sides having retained a number of their quality players.
"It's definitely strong competition throughout again this year,'' she said.
"It will be a bit like the Melbourne Cup . . . it would be good to really be able to pick a winner.''
Occasionals are early competition leaders on 11 points, from Sport and TC on eight and Wildcats on six.
T.C United set up their latest first-innings win with 86 runs, their best total of the season so far. That featured a strong stand between Gillett (20) and Jodie Spall (18).
"Jodie and I haven't been able to get an opening partnership this season so we were able to go out and put some runs on, which will do us a great deal of confidence,'' Gillett said.
"It was good to see everyone pitch in down the order and get some runs, which helped post that good score.''
T.C bowler Anne-Maree Herman kept her team on top taking 5/19 as Occasionals were dismissed for 38.
"We actually played a good all-round game considering the storms around so we had to hurry it up bit,'' she said.
"Occasionals were a bit understrength but I won't take anything away from our girls. They actually played a really decent game of vigoro.''
In the other first division match to start the second round, Sports beat Wildcats by 24 runs on the first innings.
Megan Packer snared 5/13 for Sports and Kerryn Graham was Wildcats top bowler with 6/15.
Gillett said her team's focus was "to get back into it and wing it before Christmas and then hope to pull it together after that for the back end of the season''.
The Ipswich captain was disappointed next year's state titles in Townsville were postponed due to COVID precautions. However, she understood the "most responsible'' decision was made.
The highly regarded representative player is pleased the annual pennants series with Fassifern is still going ahead on November 28, leading up to the association's 90th anniversary function that night.
But reflecting on winning last year's player of the season award, Gillett was modest about her achievement.
"That was a welcome surprise,'' she said. "I usually actually don't think that I'm going to be up there in the running.
"I'm looking to try and do better each season. I am a pretty harsh critic on myself.''
STATE OF PLAY
Ipswich Vigoro Association results October 31.
1st Division: T.C. United 86 defeated Occasionals 38 by 48 runs on 1st innings.
T. C. United batting: Clare Gillett 20, Jodie Spall 18, Karissa Aburn 9.
Bowling: Clare Gillett 2/16, Anne-Maree Herman 5/19.
Occasionals batting: Jess Fox 8, Gillian Chambers 7, Racheal Hess 5.
Bowling: Gillian Chambers 3/24, Marissa Heys 3/1 & 2 run outs.
Sports 56 defeated Wildcats 32 on 1st innings by 24 runs.
Sports batting: Lee Scudds 17, Yasmin Leeder 11 not out, Megan Packer 7.
Bowling: Megan Packer 5/13, Lee Scudds 1/9, Tania Whyatt 1/10.
Wildcats batting: Kerryn Graham 9, Bronwyn Brown 8, Ashlee Verrall 7.
Bowling: Kerryn Graham 6/15, Ashlee Verrall 2/7, Sarah White 1/4.
Due to the impending storm games both games were suspended and 2nd Division games were cancelled.
Juniors: Sports 55 & 38 defeated Wildcats Gold 44 & 20 by 29 runs.
Sports batting: Summer Haste 17 (retired), Dash Anderson 22 (retired).
Bowling: Rebecca Rich 3/3, Dash Anderson 2/11.
Wildcats Gold Batting: Abby Pitcairn 10 not out, Charli Pitcairn 7.
Bowling: Beth Ruby 2/8, Dan Kruger 2/19.
No results received for Occasionals v Wildcats Black game.