TOILING HARD: Brothers’ pace bowler Michael Ridgewell sticks to his task against Swifts in their Ipswich Division 1 cricket match at Amberley on Saturday.
TOILING HARD: Brothers’ pace bowler Michael Ridgewell sticks to his task against Swifts in their Ipswich Division 1 cricket match at Amberley on Saturday. Kate Czerny

Swifts' tail digs in to thwart Brothers

IT WAS a tough day in the field for Brothers at the Ivor Marsden 2 ground on Saturday.

But Swifts took best advantage of conditions to claim the honours against the understrength premiers.

With no Mark Sharrad in the Brothers bowling attack and Craig Cumming tweaking a hamstring before play, Swifts made 291.

They then had the last laugh as opener Michael Ridgewell was caught for six to leave Brothers 1-28 at stumps.

For Ridgewell it capped a long day, which began with him building a fence at his mum's place before play.

"The pitch was flat," Ridgewell said.

"Whoever won the toss and batted was going to get a big score."

That did not prevent Ridgewell predicting Swifts wouldn't reach 180 after they had fallen to 6-140.

His crystal ball-gazing followed the innings of the impressive Dylan Hickson (63) and captain Nathan Hooper (46).

"Dylan Hickson was excellent," Ridgewell said.

"We just couldn't get him out."

There was more pain to come for Brothers once they did as Carlin Anderson hit 43 the day after receiving the Ipswich Jets rugby league rookie of the year award.

He and Cameron Wood (72) put on 95 together for the eighth wicket.

It was Ridgewell who dismissed top-scorer Wood, but by then the damage had been done.

"I don't think we bowled great," Ridgewell said. "But David Richardson was exceptional. The rest of us were either too short or too full."

Ridgewell concedes he was guilty but puts it down to early season rust. He only bowled two overs in the opening game against Thunder a fortnight ago.

"I was better in my second spell," he said.

"My delivery and follow-through were getting better."

This shapes to be his first full season back in several years due to work in the Middle East and before that in New South Wales.

"It's good to be back, playing a full season and able to apply myself," he said.

Veteran spinner Richardson sent down 25.4 overs for his 5-96.

Cumming battled on to bowl 12 overs despite his dodgy hammy.

"He's a competitor," Ridgewell said. "Not much is going to stop him unless he breaks it."

Brothers have looked a long way from their 2013-14 selves so far this season. But Ridgewell is confident that once they hit their stride they will again be a force.

"It's a bit of a new team," he said.

"We're still gelling together. But our batting line-up is very good.

"If the pitch is the same next week I'll be confident."

In the weekend's other Division 1 match, Central Districts were on top of Eastern Taipans at the end of day one.

Centrals were 4-127 at Mark Marsh Oval in reply to Taipans' 152.



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