Tigers hatch plan to halt pacesetters
LAIDLEY started the Ipswich Logan Premier League season like they were playing a different game to the rest.
They have been boosted by former Queensland Country all-rounder Gerard Sippel and next week they will have 2010-11 Ipswich cricketer of the year Alex Welsh back.
It is hard to see how anyone can stop them.
Which means it is the perfect chance for defending premiers Northsiders to prove their title won't be handed over lightly.
"It's going to be a good test to see where we're at," Northsiders fast bowler Rob Hillier said.
"We had a good win last week."
That was against Brothers, following consecutive losses, which came after consecutive wins to start the season.
Needless to say, it is consistency from the Tigers that is lacking.
Two weeks ago Northsiders came off second best against Laidley with Michael Sippel handing down a master class in batting.
Given Sippel's 151 not out against Brothers last week, Northsiders can expect more of the same and Hillier acknowledges the Tigers need to be better prepared this time.
"We've got to have more of a plan," he said.
"Last time, we had a bit of a plan but we just didn't stick to it.
"We've got to work as a team, not so much as individuals."
Hillier took a mauling form Sippel, going for 0-63 from five overs.
He went wicketless again last weekend in the win over Eastern Taipans but insists he won't be lacking confidence when he strands at the top of the run with Sippel on strike today.
"I've bowled a lot better," he said. "I've been pretty disappointed.
"Something didn't feel right when I was bowling but I had a good bowl on Thursday night and it felt better.
"I had a few dropped catches against Laidley.
"We dropped Mick Sippel and Jason Cubit. I should have had 2-10 instead of 0-50."
A loss for Northsiders could see them slip to 20 points behind third placed Central Districts, who they meet in the final round before the Christmas break.
Losses to both would almost end their finals hopes.
A win this weekend, with Swifts the following round, would change their outlook dramatically.
"We're not where we want to be or where we should be on paper," Hillier said.
"It's been an up and down season and not once have we had the same team two weeks in a row until now. With all the new faces, it's a bit of a rebuilding year so it was always going to take time for us to click."
Hillier believes his team can put it together against Laidley if they approach the game with the right attitude.
While pace spearheads Hillier and Kev Cumming will have to find their best form, Northsiders also need a more consistent batting performance.
All of their batsmen have shown form this season but not clicked together.
"We're in with a good chance if we're in the right frame of mind," Hillier said.