The Centrals first division team are confident of regrouping after a rare loss.
The Centrals first division team are confident of regrouping after a rare loss. Cordell Richardson

Centrals to play waiting game after first defeat

CRICKET: Centrals will keep a keen eye on this weekend's final round of Harding Madsen Shield matches after suffering their first loss of the annual intercity competition.

While still in the hunt to retain top spot in the Shield one-day series, Centrals will have to see what happens elsewhere as they play Laidley in an Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association duel on Saturday.

Toowoomba side Metropolitan-Easts play Souths this weekend. If Mets win, they can jump ahead of Centrals in Pool B for the semi-finals.

Centrals skipper Matt Guest was confident his team would rebound strongly after their four-wicket loss to Mets in Toowoomba yesterday.

"It was a tough loss but they are a quality side,'' Guest said.

"It shows where we are at.''

With both teams scoring 260 runs, Guest said his team had plenty to build on.

"We're fairly confident with our stroke play so we back ourselves with the bat and those (Mets) boys did too,'' he said.

"We just didn't execute with the ball enough and we didn't take our chances.

"We were pretty disappointed but we know what we need to work on.''

Mets reached 6/261 with five overs remaining.

After dominating in the early Madsen Harding Shield games, the Centrals bowling attack was put under some pressure.

Mick Abbott finished with 2/36. Opening fast bowler Geoff Klease snared 1/55 and back-up bowlers Ben Swinn (1/18) and Alex Dell (1/16) chipped in.

A positive for Centrals was the batting of right-hander Lachlan Vellacott with 74 off 85 balls.

"He timed the ball really well,'' Guest said.

"We would liked to have got probably 300. The par there was 220 so anything higher than that was pretty good.

"We kind of let them get on top of us.''

Meanwhile, Laidley looked to have secured top spot in Pool A after beating University by five wickets at Bichel Oval yesterday.

Captain Alex Welsh (4/27) and Mick Sippel (2/14) led the way with ball in restricting University to 142.

Openers Chris Wilson (42) and Welsh (32) anchored the successful run chase.