Northsiders primed to clear flooding hurdles
DESPITE losing at least two players to injury, having only one training session in a fortnight and only finding a location for the game on Wednesday, Northsiders captain Paul Milne is confident his team can beat the Eastern Taipans.
Northsiders will host the Ipswich Logan Premier League clash at Keith Sternberg Oval, starting today, despite the field being flooded a fortnight ago.
Milne said while he was expecting to lose a couple of players through injury, he thought the team would be able to top the Taipans. "If we play to our potential, no one will get near us," he said.
"We've got a couple of guys that I know of out, but it should give some of our other guys a chance.
"We've got some good depth in our squad.
"It could mean giving some guys who don't normally get the ball a chance to have a bowl or moving some players up in the order."
But he said the Taipans were capable of knocking them off if Northsiders played badly.
Eastern Taipans sit in fourth place on the ladder, just behind Northsiders, and could leap-frog them with a victory.
The Taipans have had recent success against Northsiders, dismissing them for only 61 to beat them in the one-day competition semi-finals.
Milne said the location of the match was only decided on Wednesday after the Northsiders groundsmen worked overtime to get the field into a playable condition. It means the team has only trained once in the past two weeks.
"We've been able to train I think once this week on Tuesday, and not at all before that," Milne said.
"Some of the boys were joking it was a bit like pre-season. But we're not the only ones in that situation.
"It's the same for everybody.
"For players as experienced as our team, is a small break like that shouldn't make much of a difference. We all know what's expected of us."
Taipans have only managed one training session heading into the game but fast bowler Dan Packer is confident they can seize the early advantage in the two-day game.
"It's a bit of a grudge match," said Packer, whose flatmate, Glen Lauchlan, plays for the Tigers.
"It's going to be tough.
"The two-day game suits them a lot more."
The reason being the likes of Marcus Hillier, Tim Clarke and Brendan Forwood are so good at batting for long periods.
"We've just got to bowl good, tight lines, put the pressure on and cut off the boundary shots."
Packer believes the last time the two teams played at Keith Sternberg Oval will be to the Taipans advantage.
Then the Taipans thrashed the Tigers in the one-day semi-final.
"That will still be in their heads a bit, hopefully," Packer said.
Today: Round 13, day one
- Brothers v Laidley at Ivor Marsden 2
- Northsiders v Eastern Taipans at Keith Sternberg Oval
- Centrals d Alberton on forfeit