Classic senior battle looms after junior celebration
STATE title-winning Ipswich captain Clare Gillett is the first person to back all her players when on representative duty.
However, when it comes to picking who will win this weekend's Ipswich first division grand final, she understandably finds that difficult.
"I'm not confident to tip it given how close it's been,'' Gillett said. "But if I had to, I would probably back Sports.''
The minor premiers have been the most consistent team in a season where little separated Sports, Wildcats and Gillett's TC United side.
While acknowledging Sports bowling prowess, Gillett said Wildcats were rich in experience and a fighting heart.
Wildcats head into the title decider having beaten TC United outright by 11 runs last Saturday.
Sports and Wildcats meet in Saturday's grand final at 1pm at the East Ipswich grounds.
The winner will also contest the club championships against the grand final winning side from Fassifern.
Gillett felt her team was well in the semi-final showdown after scoring 62 in the first innings against Wildcats' 57.
"It was a good game,'' Gillett said, top scoring for the match with 36.
"We were a few down on the weekend unfortunately. At this time of the year too, it's a little bit difficult.
"I felt like we were probably on top for a good three-quarters of it but in sport, that's not good enough.''
Consistent Wildcats performer Kerryn Graham proved the difference with hauls of 5/17 and 3/5. Ashlee Verrall took 4/10 in the crucial second innings to restrict TC to 32.
Reflecting on TC's season, Gillett was confident her teammates would be back next season.
"I think after our loss at the weekend, they've got more drive than ever to come back and go a couple better next season,'' she said.
Sports beat Occasionals by an innings and 82 runs in the Division 2 semi-final.
Sports will play minor premiers in Saturday's grand final at 9am.
Occasionals beat Wildcats outright by 56 runs in last Sunday's junior grand final.
Rohan Darr topscored for Occasionals, retiring on 24.
Jorja Collie snared 4/10.
Look out for a special junior photo spread in Wednesday's QT.
State of play
Results March 14.
Juniors (Under 14) grand final: Occasionals 100 + 57 def Wildcats 58 +43 outright by 56 runs.
Occasionals batting: Rohan Darr 24ret, Hayden Collie 21ret +5, Joanne Harding 15n/o, William Frost 21ret + 18. Bowling: Jorja Collie 4/10, Seth Thorpe 2/12, Hayden Collie 1/10 + 2/2.
Wildcats batting: Morgan Frampton 10 +10, Tilly Ruby 10, Daniel Kruger 11 + 5. Bowling: Daniel Kruger 2/18, Morgan Frampton 4/14, Caleb Blandford 1/16.
Division 1 semi-final: Wildcats 57 + 50 def T.C. United 62 + 32 outright by 11 runs.
Wildcats batting: Kerryn Graham 20 + 7, Shannon Verrall 19 + 6, Marie Dennis 8 + 4. Bowling: Jasmin Graham 5/17 + 3/5, Ashlee Verrall 2/19 + 4/10.
T.C. United batting: Clare Gillett 36, Megan Daly 24 + 5, Kirsten Ihle 6, Kate Johnstone 6. Bowling: Karissa Aburn 5/10, Jodie Spall 3/23 + 3/9, Clare Gillett 3/11.
Minor premiers Sports play Wildcats in Saturday's final at 1pm.
Division 2 semi-final: Sports 116 def Occasionals 22 + 12 outright by an innings and 82 runs.
Sports batting: Cassidy Hammond 18, Kim Blanchfield 51, Erin Elllis 20. Bowling: Jacints Harrison 4/8 +5/4, Cassidy Hammond 5/5
Occasionals batting: Jynahirah Mullins 7. Bowling: Zoe Hislop 4/21 Rohan Weier 2/6.
Minor premiers Wildcats to play Sports in Saturday's grand final at 9am.