Ipswich Hornets coach Geoff Paulsen presents Sean Lutter a gold jacket for being the Club Player of the Year last season.
Ipswich Hornets coach Geoff Paulsen presents Sean Lutter a gold jacket for being the Club Player of the Year last season. Contributed

Give us a break rain, Hornets keen to play

THE Ipswich Logan Hornets haven't enjoyed much luck with the weather as they prepare to build on last season's positive finish.

However, a better focus on pre-season training and a stable combination has the region's QCA first grade cricket side keen to play this weekend.

Weather permitting, the Hornets will play Sandgate/Redcliffe on Saturday, from 10am, at Baxter Oval to start a two-day match.

The Hornets are then eager to play Gold Coast on Sunday in a 50 over, one-day encounter at Bill Pippen Oval.

Last weekend's first grade match against Wynnum was washed out after the Hornets suffered a similar fate with some pre-season trials.

The Hornets even endured weather issues on their recent week-long trip to Hong Kong where they were hoping to play the national A team before weather intervened.

"We are probably a little bit underdone,'' captain/ coach Geoff Paulsen said.

However, the experienced cricketer is pleased with the extra effort and fitness work his players have been undergoing since resuming training in late July.

"We've upped that this year,'' Paulsen said, preparing for his third season guiding the Hornets.

"The boys have worked really hard.''

Despite the Hong Kong trip being washed out, Paulsen said it was a useful bonding session.

While Paulsen will oversee the team's two-day games, he's handed the one-day captaincy to Anthony Wilson.

Left-handed combination Mitch Weatherhead and Dan Wilson will open the batting, with regulars like Anthony Wilson, Nick De Giusti and Paulsen to follow.

Last season's player of the year Sean Lutter is expected to open the attack, assisted by Ipswich Grammar boy Adam Smith.

Spinning support will come from players like the Hornet's 2015/16 competition "most improved under-20 player'' Jack Wood and his younger brother Harry, also a state junior representation.

Having all of last year's squad returning is a boost for the Hornets.

"The boys are starting to feel more comfortable there,'' Paulsen said.

"Hopefully we've got the bowling side of things right now to finish sides off.''

The Hornets are also fielding second and third grade teams this season.

The second grade side made a winning start last weekend, beating Wynnum by 13 runs in their one-day clash at Tingalpa.

Paulsen is excited about the talent coming through the club.

"We've picked up a few good young kids,'' Paulsen said.

"There will be a bit of pressure on the guys in first grade to perform now.

"There is a good balance in the (second grade) side. They started well last week and that should give them some confidence.''



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