Driving nine hours to help team: That’s cricket commitment
WHEN you have someone as dedicated as Lee Watts in your growing club, you know the future is bright.
Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder has the all-rounder's service this season and appreciate him often driving nine hours from Mackay to play in competitions like the Harding Madsen Shield.
"He loves his cricket,'' Thunder president Troy Schroder said.
"He will just drive wherever he wants to.
"He's playing for us this weekend and he's driving back up after the game to play in Bowen on Sunday.
"He's a really good guy.
"He's like the perfect man for our club at the moment.''
Having strong previous ties to the Ipswich Logan Hornets, Watts is helping Thunder after their return to first grade.
The club has grown from strength to strength after the merger in 2014.
A number of talented Marburg juniors have bolstered the club ranks.
"When we left First Grade a few years ago, we had a lot of good young players but they were just too young to step up to that First Grade comp,'' Schroder said.
"We lost a lot of experience at the time. A few went to the Hornets that left us with a bit of a hole.''
However, that situation has changed dramatically after some more development, recruiting and past Second Grade success.
The club's 2020/21 roster looks decidedly stronger with four senior teams and four junior sides playing this season.
Joining the Thunder first graders are one team in Second Grade and two in Third Grade.
Thunder has an all-girls Level 2 team, a mixed Level 2 side and teams in Level 1 and 3.
Junior matches started last weekend.Joining accomplished cricketer Watts in the First Grade side are brothers Jacob and Todd Anderson, who opened the innings for Thunder in last weekend's win over Toowoomba Souths. All-rounder Todd has been involved with the Hornets for a few years and had some First Grade experience with Northsiders.
One of the players to watch is rising left-arm swing bowler Blayde Klass.
With Marburg since he was 12, Klass snared 5/23 in last Saturday's victory.
"He's a quality bowler,'' Schroder said. "He's getting a stronger now.''
The Thunder club president said the rising young gun often didn't the results he deserved in lower grades because the batsmen weren't good enough to get bat to ball.
In First Grade, he regularly gets edges that turn into catches.
Other upcoming Thunder players include bowler Pat Smith and legspinner Lucas Sefont.
"Our bowling attack is fairly young - around that 17 year age,'' Schroder said.
"We expect it to be a tough season but it will good for them.''
Highly regarded all-rounder Aaron Nugter is captaining the side having been a former Marburg junior who had a stint with Northsiders when Thunder weren't in first grade.
"We've got good numbers in seniors now. We've got some depth finally,'' he said.
Schroder is his third year as club president, having previously played with the club since 2010. He captained the Second Grade side for a few years.
Schroder said recent club successes in competitions like the Audrey Baxter T20 series helped Thunder re-establish its top grade credentials.
Thunder will continue playing in this year's Ipswich two-day competition after the current one-day round robin series concludes.
Thunder hosts Toowoomba competition opponents Northern Brothers Diggers at Tivoli in their latest Harding Madsen Shield 45 over encounter on Saturday.
Thunder had eight debutants in their opening competition loss to Brothers.
The game of the latest round is most likely the showdown between Centrals and Laidley at Limestone Park.
Northsiders are also at home against Brothers with the South East Redbacks hosting Toowoomba Highfields Railways in other third round clashes.
Meanwhile, the Ipswich Logan Hornets will be looking for an early declaration or to bowl out Wynnum Manly out quickly in their Queensland Premier Grade match resuming on Saturday.
The home side had reached 6/338 at stumps on the first day last weekend.
The Hornets Second Graders host their one-day grand final against Northern Suburbs at Baxter Oval on Sunday.
Qld Premier Grade
Saturday: 1st Grade at Tingalpa - Wynnum Manly 6/338
2nd Grade at Baxter Oval: Wynnum Manly 142 v Ipswich Hornets 5/69
Sunday: 2nd Grade One Day grand final - 2-Ipswich Hornets v 5-Northern Suburbs
Women's Cricket 1st Grade T20s
Round 8: Ipswich Hornets v University at Chelmer (Friday night)
Round 9: Ipswich Hornets v Valleys at Ashgrove
2nd Grade have the bye
Ipswich Hornets Taverners v South Brisbane at Baxter Oval
Over 40s: Ipswich Hornets v Valleys 2 at Walker Oval
Harding Madsen Shield Round 3
Central Districts v Laidley District at Limestone Park
Northsiders v Brothers at Sternberg Oval
Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder v Northern Brothers Diggers at Tivoli No.1
South East Redbacks v Highfields Railways at Raleigh Oval
Wests v Souths & Mets v Uni in Toowoomba
Cricket Ipswich 2nd Division
Laidley v Northsiders at Bichel Oval
Thunder v Redbacks at Tivoli No.2
Brothers v Centrals at Jim Donald Oval
Northsiders v Thunder Storm at Limestone Park No.2
Redbacks v Thunder at Walker Oval
Laidley v Strollers White at Marsden No.2
Brothers v Strollers Blue at Marsden No.3