Top two to resume fierce rivalry

WITH the mid-summer break looming, few people are surprised to see Fassifern and Eastern Taipans streets ahead of the rest of the Division 2 field.

Last year's grand finalists are the only two remaining unbeaten teams, setting up what should be a cracking contest when they meet first game back following the break on January 14.

"No surprise at all," Taipans skipper Kevin Borchert said.

"We've basically picked up where we left off last year."

Before then the Taipans have to complete their Round 5 match against Laidley, in which they've already gained first-innings points, then play Swifts.

"Swifts could be the dark horse," Borchert said.

"They've normally got a couple of good youngsters in the team."

Centrals are another team that have proved they can compete, pushing Taipans close to a loss when they met in Round 3.

"They had us in trouble at one stage," Borchert admitted.

"We only got away with first-innings points after a last-wicket partnership."

Taipans have won all their matches on first innings, while Fassifern has taken outright points from Swifts and Centrals.

"We've got a very good bowling side, I think," Borchert said.

"That's why we've been winning on first innings. All the bowlers are pitching in."

The combination of left-arm quick Paul Satterthwaite, right-armer Justin Miller and leg-spinner Jake Conway-James provides plenty of variety.

Fassifern will provide their biggest test however, with four bowlers and four batters in the top nine wicket-takers and run-scorers for the division.

"It's one game I think the whole team is looking forward to," Borchert said.

"To see where we're at and where we need to improve."

The teams met twice last season and Fassifern claimed outright points twice, including in the grand final. But Borchert remains confident.

"This year we're a lot more patient than in previous years," he said. "It is the same blokes and team, but we want to go that one step better."

Points update

Division 2 ladder

Fassifern 89.51

Taipans 71.44

Swifts 48.07

Centrals 36.52

Laidley 33.17

Northsiders 30.67

Brothers 19.08

Mt Crosby 17.69



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