Mateship inspires Brothers victory
BROTHERS are back on top of the cricket pedestal celebrating another first division grand final title built on the club's outstanding mateship.
However, don't mention the "R'' word just yet.
Victorious Brothers captain David Richardson was quick to dismiss any talk of retirements after his team completed a 71 run win over Laidley at Baxter Oval today.
"No. They are all going around again,'' Richardson said with a mighty grin.
"After tomorrow it might be a different story but it's just huge jubilation.
"We've been playing for 20 years, some of us guys.
"We've won a few premierships here and there but they don't come too often.''
With a beer in hand, "Richo'' shared what it meant for Brothers to savour their first top grade grand final victory since 2013.
"We battled all year,'' Richardson said, as club supporters and officials congratulated him.
"We just have 11 blokes that love playing cricket together and that's what showed out there. They should be proud of what they've done.''
Richardson said even though Laidley "have some individual guys in their side that are great cricketers'', Brothers' mateship reigned supreme.
Laidley skipper Alex Welsh conceded his team didn't bat well enough in the grand final.
"Getting bowled out for 150 (in the first innings) was a tall order to pull that back,'' he said.
"We got ourselves in the game but still, in the second innings, we didn't bat as well as we wanted to do.''
Welsh said it was unlikely his team would have multiple retirements after finishing minor premiers in the one-day and extended Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association competitions. "So that shows that right across the season, we believe we are the best side,'' Welsh said.
"It's just disappointing that when it comes to the big day, it doesn't go your way.
"That's cricket. You've got to learn from that and come out stronger.
"I just said to the boys I'm really proud of what they've done.''
Joining his teammates outside the dressingroom, Richardson praised Brothers bowler Chris Smith for an "unbelievable effort.''
After taking what proved a match-turning 7/50 in the first innings, Smith finished with 5/69 today.
With Laidley seven wickets down overnight and still needing more than 100 runs for victory, Smith made the early breakthrough, trapping Ben Gibson in front for 10.
Despite some Laidley resistance, Brothers kept chipping away, wrapping up victory before lunch on the final day.
Laidley looked comfortable on Saturday afternoon chasing 250 to win before left-handers Ben O'Connell (36) and Mick Sippel (51) were dismissed.
Threatening to take the game away from Brothers, last season's winning Centrals captain O'Connell was caught by Craig Mackay off the bowling of Richardson.
Sippel followed shortly after, trapped lbw by stalwart Mark Sharrad, to leave Laidley at 5/134.
Richardson said they were two key wickets at a crucial stage of the grand final.
"If they batted right through to stumps, the game was in their court,'' he said of O'Connell and the competition's leading run scorer Sippel.
"But we took four late wickets, which really turned the game.''
Richardson made a major contribution of his own, finishing with 4/35 off 23 overs, including 11 maidens.
"I knew we just needed to not leak runs and that was my job down that end,'' Richardson said.
"I knew Smithy would just go through at the other end.''
At the start of day three, powerful Laidley quick Terry Emmerson kept his team in the game, snaring 6/44 off 10 overs.
Welsh chipped in with 3/47 off 15 overs as Brothers failed to build a big score after leading by 127 runs on the first innings.
However, that first innings advantage proved decisive, giving the relentless Brothers attack time to dismiss the experience-laded Laidley batting line-up.
Valuable teamman Jacob Sarra took the final catch today, igniting joyous scenes at Baxter Oval.
Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association first division grand final: Brothers 280 and 122 def Laidley 153 and 178 at Baxter Oval.