Wood fires as Hornets open on winning note
A BATTING and bowling master class from Australian Under-19 star Harry Wood helped the Ipswich/Logan Hornets to an opening round win against South Brisbane in the Queensland Premier Cricket First Grade competition at the weekend.
Wood first fired with the ball, claiming 4/44 including the scalp of Souths opener Harold Jones (1) and dangerous middle-order batsman Emmanuel Peterson (59).
The Peterson wicket was particularly crucial, as it broke the back of a 119-run third-wicket partnership - wresting the momentum back in favour of the visiting Hornets.
Reigning best and fairest winner Nick De Giusti (2/47) and experienced paceman Sean Lutter (2/42) contributed with crucial wickets, as the Hornets bowled Souths out for 265.
Wood then stepped to the crease at first drop after skipper Anthony Wilson was sent for an early shower.
The Hornets appeared in trouble at 4/96 when Lachlan Prince was trapped lbw, before Wood and usual top-order bat Levi Thomson-Matthews combined for a 103-run stand to bring order to the middle order.
When Thomson-Matthews went for 68, Bryn Llewellyn joined Wood at the crease for another significant 50-run stand which put the match out of reach of Souths.
First-year Hornets coach Aaron Moore said it was pleasing to open the season with a win, and more-so the way in which his side achieved the result.
"It was a great start. I'm proud of the boys. They worked really hard and deserved that outcome," Moore said of the four-wicket win.
"Our focus was, if we bat for 50 (overs) we would win the game.
"We always talk about partnerships in our batting. We had two 50-run partnerships that were crucial. After that, the outcome sorted itself out."
Traditionally the Hornets have taken the limited overs competition with a grain of salt, and saved their best for the two-day fixtures.
Moore said do to so this season was tempting fate by playing with early-season form.
"I think it's really important to focus on the start, no matter the format," he said.
"You're executing the same skills regardless of whether it's two-day cricket or one-day cricket.
"We start the season with three one-day games - you'd be crazy not to focus on that."
Moore praised the "exceptional" Wood for his efforts with bat and ball.
But while Wood deserved much of the plaudits for his individual efforts, Moore said the scoresheet often did not provide the full story.
"We're not focused too much on individual scores," he said.
"If you're part of a partnership, then you're contributing to our team goals which is what we're focusing on.
"Sometimes there's things that don't count to the scoreboard that really count in the game. Little efforts on the boundary, cutting two (runs) to one.
"That's what good teams do, and good players do. They might miss with the bat or ball, but they'll find a way to contribute."
Moore added the decision to move regular top-order bat Thomson-Matthews to to six "probably just fell that way", but he was thrilled with the left-hander's steadying hand when required.
"His composure and ability to rotate the strike was crucial," Moore said.
"Even in the trial games against Sunny Coast, he played a fantastic role. Having that bit of experience in the middle-order . . . he batted superbly."
Queensland Premier Cricket First Grade limited overs competition: Ipswich/Logan Hornets 6/266 (H. Wood 78, L. Thomson-Matthews 68, D. Wilson 27) def. South Brisbane 265 (H. Wood 4/44, N. De Giusti 2/42, S. Lutter 2/47) at Fehlberg Park.
Next match: Saturday - Ipswich Logan v Wynnum Manly at Baxter Oval, Ameberley.