Final focus inspires better Bluedogs effort
LAIDLEY coach Craig Jesberg has put his team on notice to go "one better than last year” ahead of their Harding-Madsen Shield semi-final against Northern Brothers Diggers tomorrow.
The Blue Dogs will be the only Ipswich side represented in the final four, after the South East Redbacks and Centrals failed to capitalise on opportunities to sneak into the finals.
Jesberg said there would be "no excuses” if Laidley fail to make the intercity competition final, having finished atop the standings and being undefeated through nine rounds.
"After that disappointing effort against Northsiders last year (in a semi-final loss), the boys want to go one better and be in that final,” Jesberg said.
A rain-affected season has made it difficult to accurately rate the chances of each of the final four teams.
Particularly Diggers, who have looked like world-beaters one week and easybeats the next.
"The only team we haven't played so for is the team we face on Sunday,” Jesberg said.
"They seem to be very up and down. They scored 350 one week and were bowled out for 90 the next, it's hard to say what they'll put on the park.
"But I'm sure they'll give it their all considering it's a semi-final.”
Jesberg said added depth in both the batting and bowling stocks had been a major reason for Laidley's unbeaten start, and with consecutive home finals on the schedule he reaffirmed his "no excuses” stance.
"If we win, we'll be at home for the final which is even better for us again,” the coach said.
"Our strength has been not needing to rely on players, we have such batting depth it's not an issue.
"There's been no one standout, which is great. We bat to number 10 or 11, and have four quicks and four spinners.
"There's just no excuses. Our fielding has been on top, and we've been great with the ball.
"After this we've got the bye until after Christmas, so there's no holding back.”
IWMCA two-day first division competition starting today (from noon):
Laidley District v Central Districts at Bichel Oval
Brothers v South East Redbacks at Ivor Marsden No.2
Harding-Madsen Shield semi-finals tomorrow (10am scheduled start):
Laidley District v Northern Brothers Diggers (Toowoomba) at Bichel Oval
Western Districts (Toowoomba) v Metropolitan-Easts (Toowoomba) at Heritage Oval.