Ipswich players in line-up for opener
THE Ipswich-Logan Hornets will boast five Ipswich players in their team for the opening day of the Brisbane grade competition today.
The Hornets take on Valley and Redlands in Twenty20 matches at Ashgrove with a likely top three of Mitchell Weatherhead, David Lyons and Brent Potbury.
Throw Wayne Jones into the middle order along with all-rounder Jarrod Bichel and there is now a strong Ipswich flavour to the second-year team.
The increased number has been a result of the side moving its base from Beenleigh to Ipswich for this season.
Weatherhead, Potbury and Bichel all played last year.
For Jones and Lyons, it is a step into the unknown.
"I'm excited," Lyons said yesterday.
"I suppose I'll stick to the basics.
"I don't know what to expect.''
Lyons has been among the cream of the crop of batsmen in the Ipswich competition in recent years.
But he goes in with few expectations and no goals other than helping the team establish itself in the Brisbane Grade competition.
"It will be good to play for Ipswich in the grade competition," he said. "Talking to a few old boys who have finished their Ipswich career and played country cricket, they're excited."
At 27, it was the perfect time for the Northsiders Tiger to step out of his comfort zone and test himself at a higher level.
"I may as well do it now and see how it goes," he said.
"I just want to do the best I can for the team.
"Whether that means opening and batting a long time for 50 runs and copping a few ... I'll do it."
Potbury will hope he does, coming in at first drop.
Last year the 18-year-old started in Reserve grade before a big century earned him a spot in the top grade.
"He's got a good eye and seems to have a good temperament," Lyons said.
One player he is more familiar with is Jones, a rival for Central Districts in the Ipswich competition for years.
At 35, Jones described himself as "probably the oldest debutante in Brisbane A-grade."
But Lyons is inspired by his presence.
"Good on him," Lyons said.
"A few people in Ipswich have poo-poohed the idea (of trying out for the Hornets). But he lives and breathes cricket.
"It's a testament to the bloke."
The opening day of Brisbane premier grade cricket features two Twenty20 matches for each team. Ipswich Logan plays Valley and Redlands meet at Ashgrove in first and second grade.