Hornets juniors carry ‘solid’ team focus into historic final
THE grand final-bound Ipswich Hornets Taverners cricketers are proof that teamwork will beat a side full of stars.
Although this year's talent-rich under-16 representative side has some state players, it has been contributions from everyone in the "solid 12'' that has propelled the Hornets into their first grand final.
The young cricketers are preparing to play Toombul in the grand final at Allan Border Field on December 6.
That follows their 13 run victory over Sunshine Coast at Caloundra last weekend.
Head coach Graham Power is pleased most of his players can maintain their momentum being involved in the state under-15 championships at Ivor Marsden sports complex from Sunday to Thursday.
"The good part is that they actually get to play at a pretty high level of cricket,'' he said.
"They are getting some good match play into them. It will be better than not having played at all.
"It's just how they pull up and look after themselves.''
Reaching the Hornets first junior grand final after 10 rounds of matches this season has been satisfying for Power and his assistant coach Simon Emmerson.
"They are all basically 15 years, turning 16,'' Power said.
"The team basically has been a solid 12 boys for the season, which has probably helped us in lots of ways.''
The coach said although none of his batsmen has posted a century, seven different players had scored 50 or more.
That included the team's highest scorer Aum Thanki, who compiled 77 not out batting at number eight against Wynnum.
Captain Harry Sheppard has amassed the most runs - 357 with a strike rate of 52.
Jack Geldard, Zane Newton and Lucas Sefont have made more than 200 runs each.
In the bowling department, the Hornets attack has been led by spinners Sahal Khatree, Geldard and Thanki.
Regan Liebke snared 4/24 and Jared Adamski took 3/22 in last weekend's semi-final victory.
Power highlighted the valuable all-round contributions, noting no one has taken a five-wicket haul.
He said his bowlers had been economical and his team's fielding had been of a consistently high standard.
In his third season as coach, Power watched his team recover from two early round losses to Gold Coast and Valleys to establish a winning streak.
In last weekend's semi-final, the Hornets Taverners were bowled out for 206 before finishing with a flurry.
As Sunshine Coast threatened to run down the total at 2/161, the Hornets bowlers got down to business to dismiss the home side for 192.
"We actually put into place some of the things that we had been learning throughout the season and it worked for us,'' Power said.