Ladder-leading Blue Dogs to test Tigers
NORTHSIDERS' captain-coach Paul Milne hopes consecutive Monday night Twenty-20 victories have got his team back on track after a stumbling start to the Premier League season.
The reigning premiers have had two weekends off thanks to an early season bye which followed a first innings loss to Centrals in round three.
With the season already six weeks old, Milne's team is yet to secure a point from a two-day game but the in-form all-rounder thinks that will change this week against ladder-leading Laidley.
"After we lost to Centrals I would have liked to have got straight back into a game but that's the way the draw panned out," Milne said of the unwanted early season bye.
"We've had the last two Monday nights in the T-20 comp so that's helped. We won both and the guys got a bit of a bat and bowl and it was an opportunity to get back to winning.
"We needed to do that after the Centrals game regardless of the form of cricket it was."
While the Tigers are desperate for competition points, they will have a hard task against a Blue Dogs team on a high after consecutive outright wins.
Led by all-rounder Mick Sippel, Laidley has disposed of Alberton and Swifts as well as taking double bonus points from their only one-day match against Taipans.
Milne said that early-season form means Laidley is now the "team to beat" but the focus for his team was getting its own house in order.
"We have a really good side and the boys see that and appreciate it but against Centrals everyone just left it to each other," Milne said.
"No-one really stood up and took responsibility.
"We've spoken about that and hopefully we won't have that sort of complacency again.
"We were chasing a big score and guys just took the easy option and weren't prepared to work hard and fight when it got a little bit tough."
Northsiders will field close to their strongest team of the season as they welcome back Mick Ridgewell for his first game of the season as well as round one centurion Tim Wichura.
Milne said other players spent the bye weekend in first division finding form and he expected that to carry though to the Premier League this week.
"Guys like Aaron Nugter for example got in twice against Centrals and gave his wicket away," Milne said.
"I sent him down to second grade to have a hit and he got 100 not out.
"He did exactly what I asked. If he can do that for us against Laidley, then that's what we need."
Ipswich Logan Premier League Round 5, day one.
- Northsiders v Laidley at Jenson Oval
- Brothers v Alberton at Ivor Marsden 2 (postponed)
- Central Districts v Swifts at Mark Marsh Oval
- Taipans bye