ON TARGET: Brothers left-arm spinner Brendan Alcorn maintains a tight line on his way to taking four wickets against Centrals last weekend.
ON TARGET: Brothers left-arm spinner Brendan Alcorn maintains a tight line on his way to taking four wickets against Centrals last weekend. Rob Williams

Shot at finals keeps Brothers bowling along

BEING an Ipswich born and bred cricketer, Brendan Alcorn was always keen to play in a home city final.

He received a long-awaited chance in Brothers' recent one-day competition defeat to Laidley.

The high school PE and science teacher hopes to gain another chance by helping Brothers win tomorrow's crunch last-round game against Centrals at Mark Marsh Oval.

"We are actually building a bit of confidence within the team,'' said the left-arm spinner who snared four wickets for Brothers last Saturday.

"If we can get past Centrals and then get into the semi, you don't know what can happen from there.''

After playing for Colleges Crossing in juniors and having short stints with Centrals and Brothers in first division, he ventured to Brisbane Valleys, mainly through his work as a teacher.

But he's yet to play in an Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association first division two-day final series.

Having returned to rejoin a lot of his Ipswich mates this season, the Brothers spinner is clinging to hopes his team can qualify for next weekend's semi-final.

To do that, Brothers have to overhaul Centrals' 181 total tomorrow and bat out the afternoon, hoping to accrue enough points to sneak into third.

"We're pretty confident to be able to chase it down,'' Alcorn said.

"At the same time, they've got the runs on the board.

"We generally play a pretty attacking brand of cricket so if we can stay in, we'll get the runs quite easily.

"The last few weeks, we've been a little bit more confident.''

Aged 28, Alcorn also knows time is running out to play in a finals series with his mates like Mark Sharrad, David Richardson and Craig Mackay. They have played in a number of recent finals while Alcorn was in Brisbane.

"I actually missed all of their hot run,'' the former Ipswich Grammar School student said.

"I left when Brothers were sort of on the rise.

"The one-day final was the first one that I've played in for a while.

"I'm just enjoying getting back and playing in Ipswich with a few of the good mates. I've played cricket with them for years.''

This season, a revamped Brothers side has gained momen- tum in recent weeks after a slow start.

Alcorn's four-wicket haul last Saturday came at a terrific time, denying Centrals a big first innings score.

While he doesn't spin the bowl a lot, Alcorn knows how to keep one end tight and build pressure.

"We bowled in partnerships,'' he said, combining well with Richardson, Mackay and Craig Cumming.

"All our bowlers did their job on Saturday.''

The other game of major interest tomorrow is Laidley resuming at 4/85, chasing second placed Eastern Taipans' 131 first innings score at Bichel Oval.

While Laidley are rock solid in the competition leader, the battle for second and third is wide open.

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