Weather plays part in cricket
IT might have been a remote chance at best.
But last week's washout has denied Strollers/Raiders the possibility of winning the Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association Division One minor premiership and advancing straight to the grand final.
No play on day one of the final round last Saturday means today's matches will all be one-dayers, with 12 competition points on offer and a result inevitable (weather permitting).
It means the winner of Laidley v Northsiders at Bob Jensen Oval will claim the minor premiership, while Strollers/Raiders will claim second and a home semi-final if they beat Brothers at Bruce Raleigh Oval.
“That's cricket,” Strollers/Raiders captain Craig Cumming said.
“We've just got to concentrate on (today's) game.”
Just as important as claiming a home semi-final will be taking winning form into the game.
Cumming does not expect Brothers to be pushovers, despite being out of the finals race.
“They'll be motivated,” Cumming said.
“Especially after the washout last week.”
Nor does he expect his team to be short on motivation.
“We've told them to look at it game by game,” Cumming said.
“They know the importance of it.”
The game plan is simple.
“We've probably got to get Jason Richardson out early and bowl tight lines,” the skipper said. “Also keep Heisey (fast bowler Steven Heise) out and keep our wickets.
“It depends on what side they bring out.
“They might bring Cameron Packer back in.
“He's been playing second grade but is a good bowler,” he added.
Strollers/Raiders will be without vice-captain Paul Milne due to work commitments.
Should they win and finish second Cumming expects to host the semi-final at Strollers, rather than across Redbank Plains Road at Raiders' home, Bruce Raleigh Oval.
“We know the field and what the wicket will do,” Cumming said.
“It is a bit of a benefit to us.
“People have said Strollers is a bit better wicket to play cricket on (than Bruce Raleigh Oval),” he added.
“They reckon Raiders has been a bit up and down.”
When Cumming took over the new team at the start of the year he said the biggest challenge was to get the unfamiliar players working together as a team.
He had nothing to worry about.
“I sort of expected to get along,” he said.
“We're all the same age.
“I know most of the fellas anyway and have known Paul for 15 or 16 years.
“It's just been about getting to know their games.”
Captaining a new bunch hasn't been any hassle either.
“They've clicked with everyone else,” he said.
“It's quite easy really.
“Paul is there to give me advice and Nathan Fisher knows their games.”
Cumming also owes the ease of his role as skipper of the new team to the reliability of former Marburg fast bowler Mark Lehmann.
Lehmann is a proven wicket-taker who can bowl long spells, taking the pressure off all-rounder Cumming's own bowling.
“You can back him to bowl 15 overs straight, which saves me having to bowl long spells,” Cumming said.
“We've got Dan Packer as well as the two spinners (Milne and Glen Lauchlan).
“It's a lot better this year.”
In today's other match Swifts host Central Districts at Baxter Oval.