More work to be done as Cricket Ipswich finetunes new model
AS unlucky Centrals prepare for a heavyweight match of the round this weekend, Cricket Ipswich president Mike Stoodley offered an honest appraisal of how the season was going.
Only months after the formation of the new Cricket Ipswich structure, Stoodley conceded some teething issues were still being ironed out.
"It's one of those things where you need to do all the groundwork in terms of consultation and coming up with a new model and getting everybody on board,'' Stoodley said.
"We've done all that at the right time of the season (the off-season).
"But now that's all in place, it's sort of not the right time of the season to implement it.
"It's a brand new organisation and it takes a while to get the off-field processes in place.''
However, Stoodley praised everyone working hard on bringing all aspects of regional cricket together.
"It's all credit to the people around the game that they have been able to put games on the park and continue on and we've able to get some pretty good cricket underway,'' he said.
That includes the restructured Harding-Madsen Shield competition progressing well despite some wet weather issues.
One of those was Centrals being denied victory against Metropolitan Easts when only one more ball was required to constitute a match.
Centrals were well ahead under the Duckworth-Lewis method in the game at Limestone Park when the game was controversially called off without the over being completed.
Stoodley agreed Centrals were unlucky to have the game ended that way but doubted any appeal would be successful.
"The umpires made the decision on the day,'' he said.
"It doesn't matter what you do, you really can't overturn that.''
Reflecting on the season so far, Stoodley said playing numbers were down in the senior ranks.
"Whether that's anything to do with the COVID situation or something a little bit deeper, we'll just have to wait until next season,'' he said.
Clubs like Brothers and Centrals were unable to field Third Grade sides this season.
However, that has been offset by Strollers building two Third Grade combinations.
Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder's return to First Grade was a positive development, along with the work Strollers officials are doing to revitalise their Redbank Plains-based club.
The Cricket Ipswich president said it was pleasing having exciting teenage talents transitioning in to top grade at clubs like Laidley and Northsiders.
"That's great to see. That's a good thing,'' Stoodley said.
Stoodley said junior cricket overall was also promising.
In representative cricket, the Ipswich Pioneers are set to launch their best-of-three Webb Shield campaign against Warehouse on Sunday at Dakabin.
However, Ipswich's Plunkett Cup team suffered an early setback with their last match against Sub Districts washed out.
This year's Harding-Madsen Shield champion side will be the team finishing with most points after the round robin - rather than previous pool - Saturday format.
The two top teams in each city will contest separate finals to complete the one-day series.
"The comp has turned out how we thought it would,'' Stoodley said.
"The three sides on top - Centrals, Wests and Laidley - certainly at the start of the season were seen as the ones to beat.''
As that intercity competition reaches a crucial stage this weekend, Stoodley said members in the Cricket Ipswich committee and 10 subcommittees were focused on their roles.
The committee meets once a fortnight.
Among the subcommittee roles are looking after senior and junior community cricket, the Ipswich Hornets, girls and women's play, facilities and marketing.
Former state player Craig Jesberg has been doing a terrific job working full-time on maintaining the fields at the Ivor Marsden complex.
Qld Premier Grades
Round 7 (Saturday): Ipswich Hornets v Toombul Bulls
1st Grade at Nundah
2nd Grade at Walker Oval
Points: 1st Grade overall - 1. Norths 54.5, 2. University 48, 3. Redlands 47, Valleys 44.25, 5. Ipswich 38.75.
1st Grade two-dayers: Hornets 7th but only 15 points behind the leaders.
2nd Grade overall: 1. Norths 53, 2. Gold Coast 52.75, 3. University 45.50, 4. Sunshine Coast 44, 5. Ipswich 42.
2nd Grade two-dayers: 8th but only 16 behind the leaders.
Women's Cricket (Sunday)
1st Grade: Ipswich Hornets v Western Suburbs at Walker Oval.
Rep Cricket: Ipswich Over 40s v Wests at Graceville; Ipswich Taverners v Sandgate Redcliffe at Deagon.
Webb Shield (first of three): Ipswich Pioneers v Warehouse at Dakabin.
Harding Madsen Shield Rd 6 (Saturday)
Central Districts v Western District Toowoomba at Limestone Park.
Metropolitan Easts v Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder at Harristown.
Laidley District v Highfields Railways at Bichel Oval.
Northsiders v University at Sternberg Oval.
South East Redbacks v Brothers at Raleigh Oval.
Souths v Diggers in Toowoomba.
2nd Division Round 5
Redbacks v Centrals at Redbank Plains Reserve.
Thunder v Northsiders at Tivoli No.1.
Brothers v Laidley at Jim Donald Oval.
Points: Laidley 21, Redbacks 18, Centrals 12, Northsiders 12, Thunder 4, Brothers 4.
3rd Division Round 6
Thunder v Laidley at Marsden No.2.
Thunder Storm v Redbacks at Marsden No.3.
Strollers Blue v Strollers White at Strollers.
Points: Laidley 15, Thunder 15, Strollers White 14, Thunder Storm 6*, Redbacks 6, Strollers Blue 4, Northsiders 4*.
* bye to come