Lyons roars in for shield
SOUTHEAST Queensland will look to defend its Schaeffer Shield title this weekend when it takes on Wide Bay and Darling Downs in back-to-back one day matches in Ipswich.
Norths' wicket-keeper/batsman David Lyons will don his first SEQ cap for the matches that culminate with the selection of the Southern Queensland representative squad.
The 25-year-old was one of the few batsmen to come to grips with the difficult weekend conditions at Baxter Oval where this weekend's fixtures will be played.
The ground has come under criticism from both club and representative players, with the overly well-grassed outfield contributing to a wealth of below-par scores.
Lyons said regardless of the conditions he was looking forward to the opportunity.
"I'm really looking forward to the matches," he said
"I'm feeling pretty relaxed at the moment but I'm sure by the weekend I'll get a little bit edgy."
Lyons will take some form into the contests after guiding his club team to victory over Swifts last Saturday then grinding out 18 from 83 balls before being run out in the Pioneers Webb Shield loss to Gold Coast.
SEQ coach Craig Jesberg said the gritty batsman led by example last weekend.
"Lyonsy got Norths home on Saturday and he batted particularly well for the Pioneers on Sunday," he said.
"He ground it out in really tough conditions."
Jesberg said Lyons and Queensland Country representative Sean Fitzsimmons would lead a strong SEQ batting line-up this weekend.
"As selectors we've been looking to prop up the batting strength for both Southeast Queensland and the Southern Queensland sides," he said.
"Fitzy is a country player and his 50 on the weekend won the game for Gold Coast.
"We'll be looking for those types of efforts this weekend."
Southern Queensland Country selector Darrell O'Sullivan will be a keen observer at this weekend's representative fixtures.
After watching last year's entire SQ fast bowling contingent move to Brisbane grade cricket in the off season, O'Sullivan said it had presented challenges but also opportunities.
"All four quicks from last season are playing in Brisbane now but as one door closes another one opens," he said.
"We have a lot of good young talent so it will be interesting to see who can take their opportunity and run with it."
For Lyons, further representative honours remain firmly in the distance.
"That's the ultimate goal for everyone, but really I'm just focused on having a good bat," Lyons said.
Players selected in the Southern Queensland side will travel to Cairns next month to take on North Queensland.
Saturday 9am SEQ V Darling Downs Country, Toowoomba v Wide Bay
Sunday 8.30am SEQ v Wide Bay, Toowoomba v Darling Downs Country
All matches at Ivor Marsden Memorial Park, Ipswich