Northsiders on winning roll
BEFORE the start of round five of the Ipswich and West Moreton Division One cricket competition, most people thought Northsiders were the team to beat.
Now they know it.
The competition leaders have sent a message to potential challengers with a comprehensive 119-run defeat of Centrals in the top-of-the-table clash at Jensen Oval.
After setting an imposing target of 302 last weekend, the home side rubber stamped their title bid with a solid team bowling performance on the second weekend.
Captain Marcus Hillier said it was a lunchtime team talk that helped his team finally turn the screws on the talented Centrals batting line-up.
"They were still in the game at lunch at 4-135 so after the break we went with a plan to tie both ends up," he said.
"We had just been bowling one or two bad balls an over so we tried to build a bit of pressure after lunch and then the wickets came."
Scott McCoombes registered the best figures for the home side, taking four of the last six wickets to fall.
Hiller said the whole attack was responsible for building pressure.
"Scotty got the wickets late but really everyone bowled well," he said.
In an innings that produced four ducks for the visitors, only Jason O'Sullivan and Sunny Manghera really troubled the home side, scoring 114 runs between them.
All-rounder Ben O'Connell said consistent bowling was the major difference between the two sides.
"In the last two rounds we've put on 300 in a day so we were definitely confident of chasing it down," he said.
"Unfortunately, Norths bowled with more patience and much better lines than we did.
"We were a bit short and wide last week and Norths were on the money."
The loss for Centrals is their first of the season but comes at the worst possible time as at least seven of the first grade line-up prepares to head to India as part of the club's inaugural sub-continental tour.
Centrals' crucial final pre-Christmas clash with Taipans will be played while the team is away. But opening batsman Jason O'Sullivan, who will be on the Indian tour, said his club will still field a competitive team.
"The side we put out next week will still have nine or 10 guys with A grade experience," O'Sullivan said.
"Our seconds are coming off a good win so I'm pretty confident the team will do a job."
With only one round remaining before teams take a Christmas holiday, it's clear Northsiders are the club everyone will be chasing when the battle resumes mid-January.