IN CONTROL: Laidley batsman Brendan O’Keefe takes charge at the crease during his innings of 94 against Centrals on Saturday.
IN CONTROL: Laidley batsman Brendan O’Keefe takes charge at the crease during his innings of 94 against Centrals on Saturday. Rob Williams

Powerful Blue Dogs punish Centrals in 330-run onslaught

THERE was little joy for Central Districts from their journey to Laidley on Saturday.

At the end of a long, hot day in the field at Bichel Oval the hosts made 9-332.

Brendan O'Keefe was the standout with 94, while Michael Sippel (76) and Harry Wood (44) inflicted their share of pain on the visitors.

Few would have enjoyed the day more than Laidley's number 11, veteran Peter Wood.

Wood was filling in and was required to do little, apart from watch his teammates and 15-year-old son Harry make hay on the wicket he prepared.

"It's a strong batting line-up," Wood senior said.

"We've got lads batting at nine and 10 who would probably be in the top six at other clubs."

Wood just hopes it's a bit cooler next weekend when he has to field.

He gave credit to Centrals for not throwing in the towel, despite very little going their way.

"Centrals stuck at it pretty well," Wood said. "They could have wilted a lot more than they did."

One stroke of good fortune they may have had was dismissing Sippel for 76.

Wood reckons he was set to cut loose when he miss-hit one off spinner Luke Barrett to Mark Dargusch at backward point.

"They were lucky they got Mick out when they did," Wood said.

"He was looking as good as I've seen him in a while."

Sippel and O'Keefe put on 110 together, providing the ideal platform for Harry Wood to come in and make the most of.

"I think he batted with a fair amount of maturity for a 15-year-old," Peter said.

"It's a good environment to play in and coming in with runs on the board makes it easier."

O'Keefe made it look easy until he top edged a pull shot with his century in sight.

"He looks in good nick," Wood said. "He batted very well and keeps churning out runs."

Centrals shared the wickets around with Michael Abbott, Blake Raper and Barrett taking two each.

The Laidley deck is about the best in the region but Wood didn't believe it was a bowlers graveyard.

"There was a bit there for the bowlers if they hit the deck," he said.

"Three or four were out nicking off."



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