’Ideal’ cricket partnership as Hornets launch season
HAVING strengthened links with the local competition and retained a stable squad, the Ipswich Logan Hornets open their Queensland Premier Cricket season in terrific shape.
The Hornets host Wynnum at Baxter Oval on Saturday in the first of three 50 over games to ignite the 2020/21 season.
With Cricket Ipswich Incorporated approved this week after months of constructive merger talks, the Hornets can build an even stronger pathway for regional players.
Officials and players with the Hornets and Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association (IWMCA) can work even closely under the new Cricket Ipswich structure.
"It's ideal really,'' Hornets head coach Aaron Moore said, preparing for his third season leading the first grade side in the Queensland Premier competition.
"It's all good to go, which is a positive.''
Former IWMCA president Mike Stoodley leads the new board, assisted by vice-president Peter Leschke, treasurer Josh Buffett and other key members Chris Wilson and Matthew James.
Moore was delighted with the experience and mix of talent on the new board, which will focus on developing regional cricket from grassroots to representative level.
"It's just going to be one body now. We're all together,'' Moore said.
"Sharing our resources and all that sort of stuff.
"It's a nice good link. We've got a direct pathway now, and governed by the one board, who has everyone's interests at heart.''
Stoodley was also pleased with the board that was chosen from a strong field of nominations.
"The board itself is really high quality people,'' he said.
"To me, that just justifies all the effort that we've put in over the last couple of months to get a unified body.''
The Hornets have only lost two players from last season's side which made the grand final before the COVID shutdown spoiled the Ipswich team's shot at history.
Ipswich cricket warrior David Lyons has retired and Chris Hall has decided not to play.
The Hornets have gained Jake Cross from Souths, Will Kraschnefski (returning from a season off), Travis Bischoff (back after time away from cricket) and Matt Andrews (Brothers Ipswich).
Among the exciting young players training with the Hornets have been Tom Sippel, Harry Meiklejohn, Jared Adamski, Blayde Klass and Corey Flood.
Moore is thrilled to see an under-19 Sunday competition set to start later this month, giving more Hornets talents an opportunity to improve their cricket skills.
"That's good for us - those kids are still at school that are showing a lot of potential,'' Moore said.
"They will get a game with the Hornets too, with the under-19s, which is great.''
Other players training with the Hornets include Todd Anderson, Harry Austin, Nickolas Bischoff, Josh Buffett, Greg Carter, Sam Doggett, Liam Harris, Bryn Llewellyn, Rowan Lutter, Sean Lutter, Dylan McAteer, Ben Newton, Emmerson Noah, Tom Sippel, Lachlan Prince, Adam Smith, Levi Thomson-Matthews, Will Trigar, Jacob Waters, Anthony Wilson, Dan Wilson, Harry Wood, Jack Wood, Josh Creevey and Nick De Giusti.
"The core of the squad are back so it's great,'' Moore said.
Spearhead fast bowler Doggett is a major retention.
Anthony Wilson remains first grade captain, having led the team so professionally for a number of seasons.
Moore is also thrilled to have Anthony's brother Dan back, along with Jack and Harry Wood, and the loyal Lutter brothers.
As a Queensland Bulls contracted player, Jack will play with the Hornets when he can.
Moore said a key issue was what happens with this season's national domestic competition under the COVID restrictions.
Jack may be able to play more Hornets games or remain in the "Bulls bubble'' if the national competition resumes in early October.
"It's a little bit up in the air with regards to the level above us and we follow that,'' he said.
"It could be that the fact that there's limited Shield cricket and all Shield players are available or they go into bubbles and they (Queensland) take an extended squad for quarantine.''
The Hornets started pre-season on June 27 with a number of fitness and team building activities.
The squad has also had skill based training on Tuesdays and Thursdays since July 21, along with internal trials and games against teams like the Sunshine Coast.
"The boys have trained and prepared very well,'' Moore said, being assisted by coaches Brendan Creevey, Matt James and Grant Stallard.
"There's some good competition for spots, which is great.''
T20 SEQ series
The six Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association clubs will field teams again this season. They are Laidley, Brothers, Centrals, South East Redbacks, Northsiders and Thunder.
They will open the season from September 12 with two rounds of SEQ T20 matches also involving teams from Logan and Warehouse.
Apart from providing some more valuable T20 games, an SEQ team will be chosen from those matches for the annual Bulls Masters T20 Challenge in October.
After the T20 series, the IWMCA teams will join Toowoomba sides for the annual Harding-Madsen Shield one-day series from September 26.
A full round of matches, rather than two pool formats, is planned for that intercity competition.
The annual two-day IWMCA competition will follow that.
Queensland Premier Grade Rd 1: Saturday - Ipswich/Logan v Wynnum Manly (50 over match) at Baxter Oval.
2nd Grade at Tingalpa.