Richo's 'battlers' defeat another threat
HAVING to deal with three rain delays on one day and losing nine wickets chasing a low total.
Brothers made hard work of winning Sunday's first division cricket semi-final that propelled them into another grand final.
But while hoping Brothers would have beaten Centrals more comfortably, captain David Richardson was proud his team continued to display the fighting qualities that could test Laidley in the four-day premiership decider starting this weekend.
"We dug deep and got through,'' the cricketing warrior said.
"We were undefeated through the two-day games but we basically fought for every one of those.''
Richardson hopes that trademark Brothers' attitude gives his team a genuine chance of matching Laidley over the next two weekends.
Brothers last played in the first division grand final in 2013/14.
"Richo'' has won three of the six grand finals he's contested.
"The boys were jubilant at the end and we had a few beers to celebrate but the big game is coming up.''
Brothers secured their latest victory in their 42nd over on Sunday afternoon, having reached the 9/114 needed.
Brothers' opening bowler Chris Smith had earlier snared 6/41 off 15 overs to help restrict Centrals to 113 on Saturday.
Spinning danger man Richardson conceded his team was lucky it didn't have to chase 150 on the Ivor Marsden wicket after so much wet weather.
The players endured three rain interruptions on Saturday and were unable to make an earlier start to Sunday's play due to water still on the field.
"It was a tough game,'' Richardson said.
"We made it a little bit tough on ourselves on Sunday.
"We had a bit of rain all week and the conditions weren't conducive to good cricket . . . and it was never going to be a high-scoring match.
"We did well to get on Saturday.''
After Brothers were 2/6, it took steadying partnerships between top scorer Luke Dixon (46), Josh Ridgewell (10) and Taylor Peach (a quickfire 14) to keep Brothers on target.
"It was a small total to chase and they got two quick wickets,'' the Brothers captain said.
"The mindset then was we were 2/50 and we thought 'we'll just roll through this' but they took some wickets and they bowled well.
"Jonesy (Centrals captain Wayne Jones) and Matt Guest bowled really well and we were 8/80, and still needed 30 odd runs to win.
"We managed to get over the line, which was good.''
Craig Mackay and Daniel Trevorrow guided Brothers to the winning total.
"We've got a long batting line-up and that's worked in our favour,'' Richardson said.
Centrals skipper Jones agreed, noting how Mackay used his experience to handle the pressure well with Trevorrow holding up his end.
"They both definitely aren't number 10 and 11 batsmen,'' Jones said.
"They batted in top order in their younger days so it shows you how deep they bat.''
Jones was proud of his team's effort this season, also praising Centrals' determination having lost a number of key players from last season's grand final-winning side.
"Brothers bowled very well and were disciplined,'' Jones said.
"Chris Smith was the best bowler over the two days by far, always asking questions.
"At 3/70 in their innings, everyone thought we were gone but ourselves.
"We thought we were never out of it, as one wicket can turn the game and getting Dixon was that wicket.
"It was a great comeback by us from there, but a rain break at 9/96 stopped our momentum.''
Jones acknowledged his players Timmy Weber, Rhys O'Sullivan and Guest for standing up and taking on more responsibility.
"I have no end of praise for them. It all bodes well for the next season,'' Jones said.
Savouring the special occasion
LOYAL skipper David Richardson registered his 200th game for Brothers in his 22nd consecutive Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association season.
But he's lost none of his motivation.
He said playing in another grand final was an opportunity he and his ageing teammates would not take for granted.
"They don't come around that often,'' he said. "We're not like (regular winners) Laidley.
"We're always a team of battlers. When we have each other around, we learn to savour them (grand finals) a little bit more.
"In saying that, we've not made the grand final thinking we're going to lose.
"We pipped Laidley last game and we're full of confidence.
"We think we can put in a good show here.''
The second division grand final will feature Laidley and South East Redbacks. That follows the drawn semi-final between last season's winners Fassifern and the Redbacks.