Taipans set to strike after rebuilding season
ONE cricket stalwart proud of Eastern Taipans this weekend is club president Bruce Raleigh.
Having served regional cricket for more than 30 years, Raleigh has seen just about everything there is to see in the sport.
So he's pleased how well the Taipans have performed as a club this season, having teams qualify for the first and second grade semi-finals.
The club has also enjoyed a successful season in the junior ranks, with competitive teams from 10-16 years.
The first grade side had some mid-season issues to resolve before English recruit Louis Gegg took over as captain.
"We sorted it all out and got back into the runnings of it,'' Raleigh said.
"It tested a few people but with the resilence about, we've come back and fought well and got where we are.
"We're pretty confident about the first grade and second grade.
"The boys have really grabbed it by the throat and done very well.''
Former Taipans opening bowler Dan Packer praised new captain and opening batting partner Gegg for his leadership after taking over mid-season.
"He's doing a great job for us,'' Packer said.
"It's his knowledge and he's a student of the game.''
Taipans have played an aggressive style of cricket since Gegg took over.
"It's just hard work,'' Packer said when asked why the Taipans were in second spot until their last game loss to competition leaders Laidley.
"We're starting to gel as a team.''
Although Taipans can be a destructive batting side, their bowling has also been a force.
Workhorse Vaughan Oldham is capable of bowling all day. He was promoted from Plunkett Cup to Webb Shield representative duty this season.
However, Packer was aware of Centrals "who have been a bogey side for us.''
"Hopefully we can pull it all together,'' Packer said.
Raleigh was president of the Redbank club before it became Redbank Plains, Eastern Raiders and now the Taipans.
"You're always building and rebuilding,'' he said, keen to bolster junior numbers next season.
Raleigh is appreciative of the Ipswich City Council's support for the club this season.
That included helping set up a new turf wicket at the Redbank Plains Recreational Reserve that Taipans teams can use.