'It's our time to make history'
AFTER Redbacks skipper Brodie Dwyer told The QT mid-week he was confident his side could go after the Centrals bowlers, Matt Guest and co arrived at Mark Marsh Oval on Saturday with "motivation to prove him and them wrong”.
They did exactly that.
Redbacks could manage just 107 from their innings, with Dean Bichel (41 not out) the only batsman able to eclipse the 20-run mark as Guest (3/28), Michael Abbot (2/11) and Geoff Klease (2/16) all claimed multiple scalps for the hosts.
In reply, Cameron Osborne (39 not out) and Wayne Jones (33) dug deep after a slow start to put on a 62-run opening stand, and Centrals swallowed up the visitors' total to get to stumps at 2/115.
It keeps alive the possibility of an outright Centrals victory and with it, an improved chance of a first-ever two-day minor premiership.
"We're after first spot,” Guest said. "We already have the innings (win) against them. Now we'll go real hard and try to go for the outright (win).
"If you look back at Centrals' history, we've never claimed a minor premiership. That's our goal for the end of the year . . . to create history with the group of lads we have, and I really feel this is the year to do that.”
Guest admitted there was a frustrating patch early in the Centrals innings when the Redbacks bowlers were able to stifle what he hoped would be a fast start.
"We were 0/10 off about six and really struggling at the start,” he said. "With Vaughan Oldham there's always a chance he'll bowl really well and he did.
"But hats off to Cam Osborne and Wayne Jones. They put us on the front foot.”
Entering the weekend in top spot and with a final-round date with Laidley at Bichel Oval, Centrals needed no extra motivation to perform on Saturday.
But Guest said they found some.
"We read the article,” he said. "There was added motivation for us to prove him and them wrong.
"They came off a win last week, and we came off a win too. We both had our tails up. But we took our chances, put pressure on them in the field and bowled well to our plans.
"We set ourselves a goal to not let them over 150. That pushed us to bowl smarter, tighter, and take our chances, and that's what we did.”
Redbacks 107 (45) (D. Bichel 41 not out, D. Chandler 18; M. Guest 3/28, M. Abbott 2/11) v Centrals 2/115 (31) (C. Osborne 39 not out, W. Jones 33; D. Bichel 1/16) at Mark Marsh Oval
Play resumes February 16