Seven to bolster SEQ shield bid
SEVEN Ipswich Pioneers players, including KFC T20 Challenge representative Ben O'Connell, will line up for South East Queensland in this weekend's Schaeffer Shield clash with Wide Bay.
Ipswich dominates the squad despite players performing below par in yesterday's disappointing Webb Shield loss to Gold Coast.
Tyrone De Silva, Paul Milne, David Lyons, Mark Lyons, Jarrod Bichel and Kev Cumming will join O'Connell in the Pioneers-dominated SEQ squad.
Pioneers coach and SEQ selector Craig Jesberg said the team was chosen on form.
"The guys that have been picked out of our side (Pioneers) are the ones that really stood up," Jesberg said.
"SEQ is looking at the batting strength, we want to prop it up because that's where we have struggled in the past.
"We're determined to get the trophy back from South/North so we've identified the areas we need to work on and we're confident we have a very strong batting line-up now."
O'Connell will captain the side after completing his commitments with the Flames in the T20 Challenge.
Jesberg said O'Connell's inclusion for SEQ was important as highlighted by the Pioneer's poor Webb Shield performance during his absence.
"He's a big in for the squad. He would have been a big in for us today," Jesberg said.
"He brings a lot to the game with his bowling, and his batting power may have been enough to get us home today."
Ipswich's loss to Gold Coast has thrown open the Webb Shield after the Pioneers had upset champions Toowoomba in the previous round.
Jesberg said his batters would need to change things in club cricket before the next Pioneers match.
"We spoke before the game about the importance of this game. If we win we've got one foot into the finals," he said.
"Now all the fancied sides have one win each so it's very open.
"Our batting really let us down today. Three of our top five played poor shots to get out and we came undone from there.
"I've told the guys, 'go back to club cricket and don't hang yourself like you did today'.
"If you want to play Queensland Country and go further in your cricket then you have to stop doing that."
In the Plunkett Cup match yesterday, Ipswich fell to Sub Districts by 78 runs.
Mick Hillier was a standout for Ipswich, top scoring with 38 and adding three wickets for good measure.
All eyes will turn to Baxter Oval this weekend as Ipswich club cricket takes a week off for the Schaeffer Shield representative fixture.