Laidley trying to solve selection jigsaw puzzle

Laidley captain Alex Welsh goes on the attack.
Laidley captain Alex Welsh goes on the attack. Nev Madsen

BEING a powerhouse club can provide as many challenges as rewards.

Just ask those at Laidley Districts Cricket Club this week.

First division captain Alex Welsh summed it up perfectly as the club finalised selections for a massive weekend of one-day and two-day matches.

"Trying to sort out five different teams for one weekend has been a nightmare,'' Welsh said.

Laidley this weekend has teams playing in the first, second and third division two-day competitions tomorrow before the Bluedogs contest first and second grade semi-finals in Sunday's one-day competition.

Laidley's top side faces Centrals tomorrow before meeting Toowoomba opponents Northern Brothers Diggers a day later.

Both games are at Laidley's Bichel Oval base.

"I know Centrals have lost a lot of players but they will put up a fight and they will make us work on Saturday as they always do,'' Welsh said.

"Brothers Diggers have got a couple of match winners so it will be hard.''

Laidley's second graders tackle Norths in Sunday's semi-final.

Despite the selection predicament, English-bred Welsh was confident the club had enough quality to meet the extra demands.

Although the top side has "chopped and changed'' in recent weeks, a number of senior players have stepped up to help the Bluedogs remain unbeaten in the Madsen-Harding Shield competition.

"That's what has been really pleasing,'' Welsh said of some outstanding efforts.

Openers Jason Cubit and Ben O'Connell have provided aggression at the top of the order with evergreen allrounder Mick Sippel still taking regular wickets and making handy runs.

Welsh said the positive was how his team was responding in those testing periods.

"On Saturday, it was about time I did something,'' he said.

Welsh's 61 not out guided his team to a five-wicket victory.

"We were under pressure a bit (at 4/92),'' he said, reflecting on last weekend's win over Northsiders.

"We had a fair bit of work to do.''

The captain said middle order batsman Andrew Pickering was doing a terrific job "chipping in''.

Bowlers Ben Gibson, Terry Emmerson and the returning Nick Boland have been making an impact this season.

Boland (3/37 last weekend) is a left-arm spinner like Welsh, giving Laidley extra bowling options on better batting wickets.

"We finished as minor premiers, which is what we wanted,'' Welsh said.

"We were a bit lucky because (second-placed) Wests got rained out but to go undefeated and finish second would have been a bit of a shame.

"I've been happy about how we are playing but this weekend is going to be a tough test.''

Topics:  alex welsh harding-madsen shield ipswich and west moreton cricket association ipswich cricket laidley district cricket club