Centrals keen to build momentum

EXPERIENCED Central Districts captain Ben O'Connell has dramatically reduced his usual representative cricket commitments this year due to work and coaching demands.

However, the West Moreton Anglican College teacher and director of rugby was pleased to share in his club team's latest first division victory over Swifts.

In sweltering conditions at the Ivor Marsden complex, O'Connell was glad Centrals bowled first before pacing their run chase.

"It was probably set up by our bowlers on a ground where the ball is going to run quite freely,'' O'Connell said of his side's win.

"I was probably happy to bowl first, get the fielding out of the way first, then we could all sit down and relax with our batting.''

Centrals restricted Swifts to 8/155 in their 40 overs.

"Our bowling was very good, at the high standard that we set ourselves,'' the skipper said.

"But our fielding was definitely below par. We dropped a few catches.''

Left-arm spinner Luke Barrett snared 3/34 before remaining 79 not out opening the innings for Centrals.

O'Connell chipped in with a steadying 53 batting at first drop to ensure his team reached their target without any issues.

Dylan Hickson earlier topscored for Swifts with 34.

However, Swifts wickets tumbled frequently, slipping to 5/98.

Centrals' wickets fell at 26 and 117 on their way to a much-needed win that keeps them in the hunt for a top two spot behind the powerhouse Laidley combination.

Centrals were beaten by Laidley in the previous game after a win over Northsiders.

O'Connell's main team focus after recent weather disruptions is building momentum.

"There's a few guys that haven't really had a hit over the last six weeks,'' O'Connell said.

"We want to get all our guys hitting as many balls as we can.''


Another team keen to find some winning form after coming close in recent matches was Northsiders.

Back in first division this season, Northsiders broke through against Thunder at Tivoli on Saturday.

After restricting Thunder to 6/145 off their 40 overs, Northsiders chased down the target three wickets down in the 26th over.

Left-handed batsman Matt Fairhurst guided Northsiders to victory with 106 not out, including 13 fours and seven sixes.

"We definitely needed that,'' Northsiders all-rounder Robert Hillier said of the win.

"We're getting enough numbers there. It's just trying to get the same team on the park every week with work commitments and having a lot of young guys in the team being committed to South Queensland and South East Queensland trials.''

Northsiders had earlier this season lost to Eastern Taipans, Centrals and Laidley.

Hillier praised young medium pacer Connor Anderson for taking 3/12 off five overs.

The Centrals and Northsiders one-day wins came as competition leaders Laidley completed an outright success over Brothers at Bichel Oval.

After rolling Brothers for 116 last Saturday, Laidley declared at 8/161 before dismissing Brothers a second time for 113.

The Blue Dogs reached the total losing just one wicket, adding to their three earlier victories this season.

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