Central Districts set for finals
SIX teams remain in contention for finals berths heading into the last round of the Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association Division 2 competition.
Fassifern lead the ladder and face fifth-placed Brothers at Ivor Marsden 2 on Saturday when a win would ensure they are first into the grand final.
Second-placed Central Districts take on third-placed Strollers/Raiders at Mark Marsh Oval while fourth-placed Laidley play sixth-placed Northsiders at Bichel Oval.
“It’s a pretty big game,” admitted Centrals skipper Tim Weber.
“It’s been a tough season with the weather but we’ve done not too bad.”
A win for Centrals will likely earn them a home semi-final after their outright victory over Swifts in the last round propelled them up the ladder.
It may not have been the best preparation for a virtual semi-final but Weber was happy for the points.
“It’s not really ideal but it got us up there,” he said.
“Strollers/Raiders are going to be hard but all sides are hard.”
While the rain and floods wreaked havoc with the season, on the pitch it has been a much more level playing field than usual.
“It’s been pretty good,” Weber said.
“A lot of the last few seasons have been pretty one-sided. It’s been pretty up and down for us.
“There’s been a few games we should have won and we should have been beaten in some.”
Sitting second, Centrals hold the cards with Strollers/Raiders having to chase the game, so the aim for Centrals this weekend is pretty simple.
“Probably bat all day and bowl tight lines,” Weber said of his team’s intent.
“Everyone wants a minor premiership but it is good coming second because it gets you the home ground advantage.”
But Weber hasn’t ruled out hopes of Brothers upsetting Fassifern and giving his team a chance at the minor premiership.
Likewise Northsiders upsetting Laidley, though Laidley remain strong favourites.
“It’s going to be tight because Fassifern are up and down,” he said.
“I don’t think Northsiders will beat Laidley going on form but anything is possible.”
Centrals’ success has been built on the dependable batting of number three Casey Risson and a well-balanced bowling attack.
“Shane Carter has been bowling really well with the young fellows,” Weber said.
Those young fellows include seamers Damon Burke and Blake Roper and spinners Cameron Osborne and Matt Frederickson.
Final round fixtures: Mt Crosby v Swifts, Brothers v Fassifern, Central Districts v Strollers/Raiders, Laidley v Northsiders