Centrals on top as Jets end hoodoo
CENTRALS were 111 runs away from reaching this season's cricket grand final as the Ipswich Jets ended their first round rugby league hoodoo today.
Chasing 145 to join Laidley in this year's first division decider, Centrals were 1/34 at stumps tonight after a cautious start to their innings against Eastern Taipans.
New dad and Centrals' captain Ben O'Connell was on 15 not out after coming to the crease when opener Luke Barrett was dismissed for two to make it 1/6.
Centrals' other opener Jason O'Sullivan was on 10 not out heading into the second day's play tomorrow at Mark Marsh Oval.
The destroyer for Centrals was again vice-captain Nick Vellacott, who snared 4/43 off 17 overs. That included dismissing Taipans top three batsmen.
The Taipans never recovered from being 6/84, posting 144 on the slow Limestone Park outfield.
Brodie Kenyon topscored with 53 in a lone stand of resistance against Vellacott, O'Connell (2/13), Mick Abbott (2/5) and Rhys O'Sullivan (1/12).
Allrounder O'Connell showed plenty of determination after celebrating the arrival of his second child, Oscar, on Friday afternoon.
After an anxious wait before the game, O'Connell took his spot leading the side to a strong position.
The first division semi-final resumes at noon tomorrow.
At the North Ipswich Reserve this afternoon, the Jets overpowered Norths 38-24, winning their first round Queensland Cup match.
It was the first time in five years the defending Cup champions started with a win.
Ipswich led 14-6 at halftime.
Marmin Barba and Marion Seve scored two tries each with Carlin Anderson, Josh Seage and Michael Purcell also crossing for four-pointers.
Anderson booted five conversions to add the icing to the proverbial cake.
Toowoomba recruit Purcell showed what he will bring to his new club with his second half try to seal the Jets win.
Fan favourite Barba completed a perfect return for the Jets with a try on the full-time hooter.