Eastern Taipans bowler Justin Miller prepares to strike for his team during last weekend’s Division 2 grand final at Ivor Marsden Oval.
Eastern Taipans bowler Justin Miller prepares to strike for his team during last weekend’s Division 2 grand final at Ivor Marsden Oval. Claudia Baxter

Swifts looking for more runs

WHILE the Ipswich Division One grand final appears headed for an inevitable conclusion, weather permitting, the lower grades still have everything to play for.

In Division 2, Swifts hope to eke out as much as they can from their final-wicket partnership to set Eastern Taipans a challenging total.

Swifts are currently 9-70 - a lead of 111, having made 125 in the first innings, before bowling the minor premiers out for 84.

"I would have liked to have scored a few more runs on Saturday and Sunday," Swifts captain Luke Smith said.

"Hopefully we can get another 20 or 30 tomorrow.

"If it rains there might be the same conditions as last week.

"We bowled them out for 80 in the first innings, so there's no reason we can't do it again."

In damp conditions, Taipans quick Justin Miller wreaked havoc to first get his team back into the clash, then take them to the brink of victory with 6-19 in the first innings and 5-30 in the second.

"He was not particularly quick," Smith said.

"He was just doing a lot, swinging it around and doing a bit off the pitch."

Swifts were able to call on Chris Mantell to do a similar job and give his team a first-innings lead and high hopes.

They didn't last long however, as Miller backed up to have them in all sorts at 9-40 and a lead of just 81.

That was before an unbroken last-wicket stand between Mantell and Andrew Woodford ensured the Taipans faced a fight to claim the premiership.

"That little bit of a partnership has given us a little bit more hope," Smith said.

"It shows we are not going to roll over and let them have it."

In Division 3 Central Districts lead Eastern Taipans Orange by 81 with seven second-innings wickets in hand.

"We're pretty confident but with the wet weather around you never know your luck," Centrals skipper Matt Zampech said.

"It will cause a bit of havoc if you're not careful."

Centrals' first innings 146 was the top score for the day last Saturday in any of the four grades.

It came on the back of Chris Kearney's 29 and Gary Kissick's 38, in which the latter dented a car with one lofty blow.

Centrals then bowled Taipans Orange out for 142, of which Taylor Peach made 76 and Tony Morris claimed 6-39.

Having seen what Peach is capable of, Zampech is confident he won't make the same impact second time around.

"I've never seen the kid play before," Zampech said.

"Now I've seen him we'll set the trap straight up."

McKenzie Wall resumes on 54 not out, with Zampech confident his team will be too strong if it can set a target of about 250.

"If it's seaming around 150 might see them off," he said.

Zampech is due in to bat next and intends approaching things differently from the first innings, when he made 12 in slow time by his standards.

"You've still got to be turning over the runs," he said.

"Last week we were battling for survival when I came in at 4-40.

"I showed a bit too much patience, thinking I've got to play a captain's knock.

"The best way should have been to play my normal innings."

In Division 4 Taipans hope to put the game out of Brothers' reach today.

After securing a first-innings lead of 57 last week, the Taipans will resume at 6-175.

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