United, Occasionals set standard as rivals falter
IT IS still early days in a long season, but the Ipswich Division One vigoro competition is increasingly looking like a two- horse race.
Defending champions TC United and Occasionals both scored comprehensive wins on the weekend, over Wildcats and Sports respectively.
It was United's second outright win of the season over Wildcats while Sports remain winless after five rounds.
Occasionals made 121 in their first innings on the back of Deanne Lawrie's 49.
It was far too much for Sports, who managed only 74 in reply.
Leann Panzram top-scored with 21 and Chantal Collie claimed a hat-trick in her 5-24.
Nothing is going right for Sports, to the extent that Lee Scudds dropped a catch on Saturday when a teammate collided with her and Kirsten Ihle's 5-28 was to no avail.
Her sister Tracey however, maintains that spirits at the club remain high.
Now in her 40s and having played for Sports since she was five, Tracey Scudds has tasted plenty of vigoro success and failure.
"We're still positive and enjoying our game," she said.
"The team gels really well and we have a good time.
"That's the main thing.
"I'm always optimistic and would never completely rule ourselves out."
Scudds believes the Sports' batting in particular has not been up to scratch, but the club has the resources to dig itself out of the hole.
While the Scudds sisters provide the wisdom and composure that comes with experience, the likes of Zoe Fox and Ihle have shown the future remains bright.
"Zoe Fox has performed really well," Scudds said. "She's been given a promotion and opening is an opportunity for her.
"Kirsten is bowling really well.
"She was bowling to their really good batters and she kept them to singles. She's one of the fastest bowlers in the competition.
"She's only young so she's learning how to create a bit of variety but at the same time keep her line and length."
However Scudds admits there is a lot of ground to make up if her team wants to compete with the top two teams in finals.
Occasionals have turned things around dramatically since last season, when they finished last.
It proves Sports can do the same and Wildcats can do the same if they get the right ingredients in place.