REARGUARD ACTION: Swifts batsman Dylan Hickson digs in against Laidley during his vital knock of 57 that helped save his team from outright defeat.
REARGUARD ACTION: Swifts batsman Dylan Hickson digs in against Laidley during his vital knock of 57 that helped save his team from outright defeat. David Nielsen

Centrals target top two position

CENTRAL Districts have strengthened their push for a top two spot after a committed batting performance in their latest Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association match.

With competition leaders Laidley just missing out on an outright win over Swifts, Centrals consolidated their recent progress with their third win of the season.

"Hopefully that puts us into second place now,'' coach Scott Barrett said.

"The momentum is good.

"We just need to be more consistent with our bowling. Our batting has never been a problem really.''

After letting Eastern Taipans get away early the previous weekend before restricting them to 229, Centrals powered their way to 8/390 on Saturday.

Top scorer Luke Barrett just missed his first club ton of the season in being dismissed for 97.

"He certainly was disappointed,'' coach and father Scott said.

However, allrounder Luke has another terrific representative opportunity coming up when he represents South Queensland in the Brisbane T20 competition on December 19 and 20.

Barrett and Laidley's Alex Welsh were chosen for that team after the Queensland Bulls Masters Country Challenge in Mackay earlier this year.

Another Centrals player back on the representative scene is captain Ben O'Connell. He has been chosen to play for Queensland Country at the Australian Country titles in Mt Gambier next month.

After missing earlier representative games due to other commitments, O'Connell gets another chance to display his cricket quality at national level.

O'Connell scored 41 batting in the middle order in Saturday's match at Bruce Raleigh Oval.

His handy innings came after opener Alex O'Sullivan hit 84 and before Matt Guest compiled a useful, unbeaten 55 late in the day as the Taipans bowlers tired.

Centrals overhauled Taipans' target with just five wickets down.

"The batting was very good,'' the Centrals coach said.

"Everyone did their job.''

Barrett is confident Centrals can build on their recent form in the two one-day games before the Christmas break.

Centrals play Brothers at Amberley on Saturday before a December 19 match against Thunder at Tivoli.

"It's mainly our bowling. If we get that right, we're going to go a long way this year,'' Barrett said.

In the other first division matches, Laidley and Brothers were denied outright wins by some determined lower order batting.

Laidley came within one wicket of victory over Swifts.

After batting on to let Mick Sippel reach 261, Laidley declared at 8/496.

However, the competition leaders were denied maximum points after some resistance by Dylan Hickson (57) and David Roberts (52). The Swifts tailenders hung on desperately to finish 9/198 at Amberley.

Brothers secured some handy points in their first innings win over Thunder at Tivoli.

A powerful 135 from Brothers opener Taylor Peach guided his team to 7/242 (declared) after Thunder were dismissed last week for 79.

Thunder held on the second innings to finish 8/218.

Opener Corey Teske topscored for Thunder with 73 to help stave off Brothers' victory bid.



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