Mission to stop TC United three-peat
IT WOULD take a brave or foolish person to bet against TC United making it a third straight Division 1 vigoro title this summer.
The new season begins tomorrow with a rematch of last summer's grand final between United and Sports.
While Sports have been hit by a couple of retirements, United only seem to have gotten stronger.
They have all of last season's team backing up and have been boosted by the return to action of Megan Daley and Renee Peters.
While it should spell one way traffic, if you consider last season's one-sided grand final, Sports veteran Lee Scudds remains optimistic about her team's prospects.
Sports are determined to erase the outright loss they suffered in last summer's decider.
"There's extra motivation for us," Scudds said.
"I know they haven't touched a bat or ball since last season - same as us.
"So it could go either way."
But in recent seasons she has seen it become harder and harder for her club and the sport of vigoro in Ipswich to retain players.
So the loss of Karen Ihle (retired) and Angie-Lea Spowart (having a baby) is a blow.
It means the likes of youngsters Zoe and Jess Fox, Yasmin Leeder and Kirsten Ihle have to assume senior roles in the team.
Scudds has also targeted improved fielding as an area her team can use to gain an advantage.
"It does make it tougher," Scudds said of the loss of Spowart and Ihle.
"But it gives an opportunity for the younger ones to step up and have a go.
"Angie was a bowler so we're down a bowler.
"I shouldn't be bowling any more.
"I should be sitting on the sidelines - if and when we make finals this season."
There is little chance of that happening any time soon.
When asked if Spowart was taking a summer off because she was having a baby, Scudds' said: "That's the only reason you'd take a break".
Scudds has been playing for Sports for 37 of her 44 years.
She is a loyal servant, which can also be seen in the fact that she still works for the same legal firm she joined 30 years ago.
Unfortunately, they don't make them like Scudds anymore, hence the declining numbers across the Ipswich competitions.
"The challenge is trying to keep juniors to continue on playing," Scudds said.
"A lot of parents say their kids can only play one sport. I'd love my son to play anything."
- Division 1 (tomorrow at 11.30pm)
- TC United v Sports (Field 1), Occasionals v Wildcats (Field 2)
- Division 2 (2.50am)
- Juniors (8am)