ALL SMILES: The Ipswich Pioneers recorded a 105-run victory in the Webb Shield grand final against Warehouse Reps. It was the first Webb Shield win for Ipswich since the 2007/08 season.
ALL SMILES: The Ipswich Pioneers recorded a 105-run victory in the Webb Shield grand final against Warehouse Reps. It was the first Webb Shield win for Ipswich since the 2007/08 season. Contributed

Pioneers' secret to Webb Shield success found in crossword

IT HAD been 11 long years since the Ipswich Pioneers last tasted grand final glory in the Webb Shield, and the lone survivor of the 2007/08 winning team decided it was time to bring back a time honoured gameday tradition.

Rather than allow the tension and nervousness of the bus trip from Ipswich to Marchant Park build ahead of Sunday's high stakes decider against Warehouse Reps, Mick Ridgewell reintroduced a calming tactic the Pioneers used to great affect in the 07/08 campaign.

Bemused Ipswich skipper Matt Guest blinked at first, but he was quickly onside with the idea.

"Apparently a couple of years ago, every time they got on the bus they did a crossword. Ridgey wanted to bring back that little bit of history on the way to the ground,” Guest said.

"I think it was about getting us to step back from the moment. It got our minds off the game for a bit.”

Ridgewell's gambit paid off, with the Pioneers romping to a 105-run victory.

"Obviously it worked, because we performed on the day and got the result we were after,” Guest said.

"It was a nice touch from Ridgey to do that. It made (the win) just that little bit sweeter.”



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