Weather threat may rain on Laidley’s double quest for glory
WITH rain clouds hovering ominously and the threat of heavy weekend rain, Laidley's first division players have every reason to be anxious.
They have two massive games scheduled this weekend, providing more opportunities to bolster their impressive collection of titles.
Beating arch rivals Western Districts in Toowoomba on Saturday will secure the Blue Dogs the latest Harding-Madsen Shield championship.
Back in Ipswich on Sunday, Laidley is hoping to wrap up the T20 Big Bash final against Centrals.
Laidley is currently second in the Harding-Madsen Shield table and qualified in top spot for the Norm Baxter Cup T20 decider.
Captain Alex Welsh was watching the weather closely as he looked to finalise his weekend teams.
Laidley have lost master batsman Gerard Sippel indefinitely after he had surgery on his knee this week.
The Blue Dogs will also be without AFL draftee Samson Ryan who is travelling to Melbourne on Saturday.
Opener Chris Wilson is also out after a mishap in last weekend's match.
"We'll still have a good side,'' Welsh said, knowing the matchwinners Laidley possesses.
Welsh was confident of having some Ipswich Hornets players bolster his stocks for the T20 game.
The weather was the immediate concern, preparing to face regular Harding-Madsen champions Wests on their home patch.
"We've played them in finals before and unfortunately they have come out on top,'' Welsh said.
"Hopefully we get a full game and it's not rain affected.''
Competition leaders (83 points) and Laidley (82) have similar records from their 10 lead-up games.
Wests have scored 1853 runs and had 1324 scored against them.
Laidley have compiled 1828 runs, with 1315 scored against them.
"We are in a good position second on the ladder,'' Welsh said.
"If we play to the best of our ability we'll give ourselves a good chance to win.''
Welsh was pleased his team qualified for another T20 grand final at Baxter Oval.
"It's been pretty good,'' Welsh said of that night competition.
"We've had a lot of chopping and changing in the T20 side due to availability and some being Monday nights and some being Sunday nights.
"But when you can bring in a few of the Hornets players that helps.''
Wilson brothers Dan and Anthony and Harry Wood are among players likely to join Laidley.
The Hornets first graders are scheduled to start the next round of the Queensland Premier Grade two-day competition against Valleys at Ashgrove on Saturday.
The Hornets women at are home on Sunday, playing Sandgate Redcliffe.
Qld Premier Grades
Saturday Round 14
Ipswich Hornets v Valleys
1st Grade at Ashgrove
2nd Grade at Baxter Oval
Women's 1st Grade
Sunday Round 18
Ipswich Hornets v Sandgate Redcliffe at Baxter Oval (10am)
Over 40s: Ipswich Hornets v Valleys at Ashgrove
Harding Madsen Shield (final round)
Premiership decider: Western District Toowoomba v Laidley District at Heritage Oval.
3rd place decider: Central Districts v Northern Brothers Diggers at Limestone Park.
Other games: Marburg Mt Crosby v Northsiders at Tivoli No.1
South East Redbacks v University at Raleigh Oval
Highfields Railways v Brothers at Highfields
Metropolitan Easts v Southern Districts Magpies at Harristown
Points: Wests 83, Laidley 82, Diggers 63, Centrals 62, Mets 53, Thunder 45, Uni 29, Northsiders 29, Highfields 28, Redbacks 17, Brothers 13, Souths 4.
Sunday: T20 Baxter Big Bash grand finals (matches start at 1pm)
Premier Grades (Norm Baxter Cup)
1-Laidley District v 2-Central Districts at Baxter Oval
Head to head: Played 8 - Laidley 2, washouts 2, ties: 1, Centrals 3.
Previous encounter (Len Martin Cup semi-final): Laidley (7/152) defeated Centrals (8/101) by 51 runs at Walker Oval on September 20.
2nd Division (Audrey Baxter Plate)
Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder v Bundamba Strollers at Walker Oval .
2nd Division (Round 10 of 15)
Redbacks v Thunder at Redbank Plains Reserve
Northsiders v Laidley District at Sternberg Oval
Centrals v Brothers at Limestone Park No.2
3rd Division Round 12
Thunder Storm v Strollers Blue at Walker Oval
Redbacks v Strollers White at Marsden No.3
Northsiders v Laidley at Marsden No.4