Underdogs Sports bowl way into grand final contention
VIGORO: Through to their first grand final in a few seasons, Sports have nothing to lose and everything to play for on Saturday.
Sports just scraped into third place before producing a timely outright win over Wildcats in last Saturday's semi-final at the East Ipswich grounds.
Senior player Tracey Scudds was thrilled with the result, especially knowing her team can still improve for its showdown with minor premiers this weekend.
"For us, it comes down to our batting, making sure we can put some decent runs on the board,'' she said, happy with her team's bowling performances.
"We've fielded well all season and our batting has improved in the last few weeks.''
In Saturday's semi-final, Wildcats batted first making 57 after Sports opening bowler Megan Packer snared 7/13 and made a run-out.
In reply, Sports scored 56, setting up a second innings without any time restrictions.
Scudds said that suited her side, which dismissed Wildcats for 45 a second time. Coming into the attack late, Scudds took 5/12.
The third-placed side scored the 48 needed with number five batter Janine Ikonomou remaining 17 not out.
Lynelle Packer was Sports' top scorer in the game with 18.
"It didn't really bother us that much that we were behind on first innings, except for the fact that it could have been rained out,'' Scudds said.
"We were happy to be roughly even with them at the end of the first innings because the second innings was just a matter of batting again and making sure you're ahead the second time around.''
She said the scores were lower than previous games due to the lush grass from all the recent rain.
"The balls are not running away very well . . . so there's lots of singles,'' she said.
As for making another grand final, Scudds was happy for Sports to go in as underdogs.
"Sports has got a long tradition of coming from third and fourth to be in the final,'' she said.
She also appreciates the strong family traditions in the club, with her mum playing before her and her sister Lee also a regular first division player.
More than 38 years ago, Tracey was in the first junior Sports team as a five-year-old, along with Lee.
Occasionals won this year's Ipswich junior grand final, beating Sports on Saturday morning.
State of play
First division semi-final: Sports 56 & 48 def. Wildcats 57 & 45 in an outright win.
Grand final: Saturday (1pm) - Sports v Occasionals.
Second division semi-final: T.C. United 111 def. Sports 29 & 56.
Grand final: Saturday (9am) - T.C. United v Wildcats Gold.
Both games are at the Ipswich vigoro grounds in Joyce Street.