Positive move: New partnership to bolster Ipswich cricket
A MAJOR off-season initiative has been introduced to assist the Ipswich Logan Hornets and strengthen the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association competition this season.
Preparing for Saturday's latest Queensland Premier Grade match against University of Queensland, Hornets head coach Aaron Moore was pleased with the new focus.
"We've made some big changes. We've gone back to two grades (first and second),'' Moore said.
That means players previously involved with Hornets' third and fourth division teams or not needed for the top grades can now play in the IWMCA competition on a regular basis.
"So we're working closely now with the Ipswich association,'' Moore said.
"It's a step in the right direction for everybody in Ipswich so we're taking that approach.''
As a coach heavily involved in development, Moore was confident the "positive'' move would help the Hornets upper grades while assisting local clubs.
"It's more a collaborative effort now,'' he said. "We should all be working in the same direction.''
In his second season as Hornets coach, Moore is happy to have retained the core of last year's side.
The Hornets have lost allrounder Nick De Giusti who is having a season off but gained Australian Indigenous and former Wests' right-arm bowler Sam Doggett.
He made a positive start in the Hornets' season-opening, one-day competition win over Norths.
For this weekend, Hornets bowler Sean Lutter is in doubt after being struck on the arm during last weekend's nine-wicket loss to Sandgate Redcliffe.
But with a Hornets victory already in the one-day series, Moore hopes his team can push UQ to secure a spot in the finals.
"There's positive signs early on,'' he said. "It was a really good win over Norths.''
On a belter batting track at Baxter Oval last weekend, the Hornets failed to set a big enough target to create "scoreboard pressure''.
"We left a few runs out there. We probably should have got 260 plus (instead of 230),'' Moore said.
However, Moore said an advantage of keeping a group of talented players together was building a stronger future.
Dependable openers Dan and Anthony Wilson and spinning whiz Harry Wood are among key players taking the Hornets forward.
"There's a fair bit of belief amongst them now,'' he said. "We're not just there to compete any more. We are there to have a real crack.''
Moore said the inclusion of Doggett was most welcome, especially with De Giusti taking a break.
"It's definitely experience and he's a wicket-taker,'' Moore said of Doggett.
The Hornets coach said young talents like Lachlan Prince and Bryn Llewellyn would step up to fulfil the valuable role De Guisti performed last season.
As for Saturday's opponents, Moore rated UQ a "competition heavyweight'' team who has enjoyed plenty of success.
However, he said it was such contests that the Hornets welcomed as they looked to enhance their reputation in the Queensland Premier Grade competition.
"We're up to it,'' Moore said.
The two-day Saturday competition starts next weekend with the one-day finals to be played on Sundays.
Qld Premier Grade one-day competition: Saturday (from 9.30am) - Ipswich Logan Hornets v UQ at Wep Harris Oval, University of Queensland.
2nd Grade: At Baxter Oval