Occasionals in title hunt as duel for third hots up

WITH one round to go, it's anyone's guess who Occasionals will play in the Ipswich first division vigoro semi-final.

After another exciting round of matches, senior Occasionals player Deanne Lawrie was keeping a close eye on the form of Wildcats and Sports.

With TC United having top spot wrapped up and Occasionals safe in second, it's between Wildcats and Sports to see who contests the semi-final on March 12.

Wildcats strengthened their hopes with a first innings win over Sports on Saturday. Wildcats play Occasionals in their final qualifying match this weekend.

Occasionals enjoyed a timely victory over TC United in their latest match at the East Ipswich grounds.

They face Sports this weekend in a final hit-out before the semi-final.

"I don't know who we'd prefer to play,'' Lawrie said, looking ahead to the semi.

However, after inflicting a rare first innings defeat on TC United, Lawrie was hopeful her team was peaking at the right time.

"It was a real team effort, which is what we really wanted,'' she said. "We've got that feeling back again.''

Occasionals scored 80 and were 8/45 in their two innings, dismissing TC United for 46.

Lawrie said dismissing Ipswich captain Clare Gillett on the first ball was a key moment and "big relief.''

"We definitely batted better than we have and that makes a big difference,'' she said.

"Our batting is probably our strength. To get those runs puts us in a better position when we go out to field.

"I think our fielders all played pretty well. We attacked a bit better.''

Wildcats compiled 93 in their turn to bat, keeping Sports to 64 and 44.

Bronwyn Brown hit 31 not out for Wildcats with Rebecca Foley snaring 5/6 and Danielle Silvester taking 4/29.

"That was a bit of an upset I think for Wildcats too because they were missing Kerryn Graham, one of their strike bowlers,'' Lawrie said. "And Sports were on a bit of a roll.''

Meanwhile, Ipswich has a group of players representing Queensland at the national championships, which started in Launceston today.

They are Rachel Savage (captain), Karissa Aburn, Danielle Silvester and Yasmin Leeder in the senior competition.

Junior player Leighlani Leveo is also lining up for Queensland.

State of play

Defending champions TC United are on 53 points, with Occasionals on 44. Wildcats and Sports are deadlocked on 27, setting up the exciting finale.

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