Ipswich let down by batting

IPSWICH’S humiliation at the hands of Toowoomba in the final Webb Shield fixture of the summer on Sunday has highlighted how far the Pioneers have to go before again challenging for the title.

“It wasn’t the best result,” Ipswich wicketkeeper Luke Dixon said. “It was just poor batting by everyone.”

Ipswich had no excuses on Laidley’s typically good Bichel Oval deck. “We got off to a good start,” Dixon said. “Then their first change bowler came on and took six wickets.”

Openers Jason Richardson (29) and Josh Buffet (20) took Ipswich to 0-41, including 14 to Richardson off the second over of the innings, when Shaun McCarthy made his presence felt.

By the time he’d finished his 10 overs the Toowoomba quick had 6-34 to his name and Ipswich’s prospects of a place in the Webb Shield final were as good as gone.

“He was putting them on the right spot,” Dixon said.

“When I was out there he didn’t bowl a bad ball in three overs.”

Ipswich’s bowling has been rated its strength this season, but the only wicket taken as Toowoomba cruised to victory came from a runout.

Former Laidley batsman Brendan O’Keefe starred with the bat for the visitors with 78 not out.

Dixon has played in Webb Shield-winning teams and doesn’t think Ipswich is too far off, despite Sunday’s result.

“It is just little things really,” he said. “There was always going to be a time when we were going to come back (to the field).

“The younger guys have come in and it has probably taken a bit longer than we thought. But we’ve pushed Toowoomba every game except for this one.”

Dixon also questioned the value of bringing in recently returned Centrals batsman Ben O’Connell, who has played first grade in Brisbane, for one match when he would have been ineligible for the final had Ipswich won.

O’Connell and Jason Richardson were playing their first games for the Pioneers in years while Alex Welsh made his debut. Dixon thinks it may have been asking a bit much to expect them to slot in successfully straight away.

Dixon has moved to Albany Creek with his partner and admits the commute has him thinking of playing in the Brisbane competition, though he remains committed to Ipswich and Brothers at the moment.

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