Victory boosts Centrals title bid
CENTRAL Districts have taken advantage of some fine weather at last to post an impressive victory over regular finalists Laidley at Mark Marsh Oval.
In a match where few batsmen came to terms with a seaming pitch, solid knocks from Ben O'Connell and captain Jason Verrall were enough to get the home side their first win for the Ipswich season.
Verrall's knock of 47 formed part of the two key partnerships in the Saturday match, effectively guiding his team home for an early season-defining win.
The skipper said it was an important result for his club.
"We were always pretty confident we could knock them over, but to get the win on the board is a really good result," Verrall said.
"It is pretty much the first time we've had a full strength side in a year.
"If we can maintain this side I think we can compete with any side in the competition."
Apart from a short shower midway through the first innings of the one-day contest, players enjoyed the best conditions in a season marred by wet weekends.
Verrall said after a frustrating start to the season, his team gelled in a promising performance.
"All the bowlers contributed and we fielded really well as a team," he said.
"To get a good win over a top side early in the year is pretty important for us."
Mick Sippel was a rare shining light for a Laidley side missing up to six leading players.
The middle order batsman's knock of 67 at least handed his team a total that at one stage threatened to be less than 100.
Sippel said the result was alway on the cards after a difficult preparation.
"It was a really frustrating lead up to the game with so many guys out it was a challenge just fielding a team on the day," Sippel said.
"That's not an excuse though, Centrals bowled well and deserved the win."
Perennial finalists Laidley have endured a difficult start to the season losing captain Chris Wilson to suspension following an incident in last season's grand final, and missing numerous players due to work and social commitments.
With this weekend set aside for representative fixtures, Laidley will welcome back a number of key batsmen for their next club clash with Brothers.
Centrals will take on Swifts in a fortnight as they look to stamp themselves as a title contender this season.