THE cricket season is reaching the halfway mark this weekend.
The Ipswich Logan Hornets are having their last two-day fixture before a month of T20 cricket in the top two grades.
The local first graders are reverting to their two-day matches while third grade teams have almost completed their round robin matches before splitting into two separate competitions.
The Hornets face an uphill battle to make the semi-finals of the two-day comp after another narrow loss to the Gold Coast last weekend. Captain Anthony Wilson made a great declaration at 8/306 but his bowlers fell an agonising two wickets short.
At 6/200 and 8/272, the Hornets were a great chance, but some stubborn lower batting from ex-Hornet Jackson Smith and big hitting Josh Kann saw the Coasters through.
This weekend, they travel to Graceville to take on Western Suburbs in another Saturday/Sunday fixture again, their third such game in five weeks.
It's a tough workload especially for the bowlers.
The Hornets' batting has been sensational, from the top three in particular. Levi Thompson-Matthews (462 runs at 77, 10th overall), Dan Wilson (341 at 49) and Harry Wood (491 at 70, 7th overall) are giving the Hornets are a solid foundation each week.
Anthony Wilson, at number four, has also been consistent with 216 runs at 30.8.
However, the bowling has been unable to break down the opposition recently after a great start to the season which resulted in their one day semi-final appearance. Sean Lutter (14w) and Harry Wood (13w) are leading the wicket-takers.
This week they will bowl to ex-Thunder batmen and the competition's leading rungetter Sam Truloff (742 at 82).
After being dropped by the Queensland team after their first match, Truloff has returned to clubland and dominated with three hundreds to again be knocking on the door. He pummelled 192 against University in his last match, and 554 runs in his past four matches.
In women's cricket, the Hornets had a great comeback victory over Univeristy last week.
On Friday night, they were dismantled by Queensland Fire's Grace Harris who smashed 117 off just 63 balls.
However, on Sunday, the women scored 3/140 and held on for a narrow five-run victory to show great resolve.
That win puts them in equal third spot with Gold Coast in the T20 competition and they will take on Wests again on Sunday after playing the Gold Coast last night.
Locally, the first grade competition is reverting to its traditional two-day format. South East Redbacks will host Laidley District and Northsiders will travel to Brothers in the battle for third spot.
Laidley had a great win last weekend in their top of the table clash with disappointing Centrals outfit. Michael Sippel (83 off 84 balls and 4/29 off 10 overs) returned to best form to guide the Bluedogs home despite Tim Weber's (61 off 94) best efforts.
In the other game, Joel Hall (66) and Taylor Peach (59 off 33) gave Brothers a sizeable score for Redbacks to chase then Craig Mackay (6/22) routed the Redbacks lower order after dismissing Vaughan Oldham (65 off 76).
The win keeps Brothers in touch with Centrals and a handy break over Northsiders in the race for third spot.
Second grade is again throwing up unexpected results with undefeated Fassifern (67) crashing badly to Northsiders (134). Adam Pringle (4/9) cut an early swathe through the much vaunted Bushrangers batting line-up.
With the Redbacks and Laidley in strong positions, the gap between the top teams will tighten after Fassifern had skipped clear with a 30 point lead over Thunder who are on the bye.
Leading rungetters in this grade are veterans Andrew Walsh (282 at 35), Ross Mitchell (247 at 49) with Fassifern quartet Joel Gillett (232 at 39), Jackson McQuilty (225 at 32), Charlie Moncada (217 at 54) and Jarrod Noe (203 at 40) and Thunder's Aaron Nugter (204 at 68) batting well.
The leading wicket-takers so far are Fassifern with offspinner McQuilty (19 at 11), newcomer Nathan Black (14 at 10) and Matt Morrison (12 at 7). Shane Ross (11 at 9), Ray Coleman (11 at 14), Grant Dean (10 at 15) and Scott Fryer (10 at 18) are amongst the wickets as well.
In third grade, three rounds of one-day cricket remain for the teams to jockey for positions in the top six, and remain in that division. The bottom six are relegated to 4th Grade.
Leading rungetters so far are Redback Black's Ethan Acutt 317 at a whopping average of 158, with Ash Brown (263 at 52), Rob Morris (203 at 39) and Jared Broadbent (183 at 61) also in the runs.
The grade's leading wicket-takers are very close with Mark Adamski (12 wickets at 4.67) pipping out Thunder Duck's pair of Dylan Hewitt (11 at 12) and Anthony Trimbolli (11 at 14) and Kris Hoffman (10 at 10) from the Red Redbacks so far.
Thrilling T20 tie
Last Sunday night's T20 ended in a tie between Laidley and Hornets Colts. In another highly entertaining match, Laidley racked up 3/167 mainly thanks to bash brothers Dan (58 off 54) and Anthony Wilson (54no off 35). Brodie Nickson took 2/34 for the Hornets.
In reply, Levi Thomson Matthews (88no off 60) continued his great touch with support from Will Trigar (14), captain Bryn Llewellyn (30 off 25) and Greg Carter (24no off 19). With 14 needed off the last over, the Colts managed to scramble 13 and force a tie.
That was a just result considering the quality of the match.
On Monday, Brothers play their first T20 match, taking on Pool A leaders Thunder at Baxter Oval.
In the Reserve grade match last Monday night, Centrals (3/133) defeated Thunder (9/122) at Limestone Park.
Solid contributions from Ben Abraham (19), Tom Young (15) and Tom Cupit (12) let Dave Boland (22no) and Charlie Utz (51no off 34) run riot in the later overs.
Veteran Marino Nugter, Brent Gill and Toby Janke took their wickets with some tight overs.
Thunder's captain Isaac Van de Werken (63 off 44) could only find the support of youngster Braydon Armstrong (14) in the run chase after Cupit (3/27) and Utz (2/12) made early inroads.
On Monday night, Strollers take on Northsiders at Limestone Park in an old fashion grudge match.