Final spot secured for Mitchell Shield
CRICKET: Stanthorpe's Mitchell Shield side will go through to the finals after an impressive win against Central Downs at the weekend.
Stanthorpe's Mitchell Shield captain Ben Staley said despite a tricky start when his team went into bat, they left little opportunity for Central Downs to defeat them at CF White on Sunday. Staley said some early wickets set them off on a bad foot, but they didn't lose faith.
Things picked up and Stanthorpe secured 160 runs.
Staley said Stanthorpe's best batsman was Jordan Lanza, who scored 41 runs.
"He was well supported by Chris Williams (31) and Alastair Middleton (22)," Staley said.
"We never really gave Central Downs a chance."
Stanthorpe's opening bowlers, Jordan Lanza and Ross Lupton, also kept the heat on, with three and four wickets respectively. Central Downs finished on just 57.
This will mark the third Mitchell Shield final in a row for the Stanthorpe team.
Mitchell Shield player Luke Brady said it was a great all-round effort from the Mitchell side.
He said it had been a fairly strong side in recent years.
"A few good young guys are coming through as well," Brady said.
"When all the players are there, we definitely are one of the strongest teams we have had in years."
A strong Stanthorpe side meant a compromise on Stanthorpe's Davis Cup contention, however.
Staley said he was missing a number of Stanthorpe's top Mitchell Shield players. This meant taking some from the Davis side.
Toowoomba's Davis Cup mentor Norm Martin said while they hadn't been beaten all season, it was a surprisingly large margin.
Toowoomba batted first and claimed 321 runs, which dwarfed Stanthorpe's 65.
"The young fellas all played well," Martin said.
He said their star players included Aidan Watterson, who made 112, and 15-year-old Cody Walker, who made 54.
Staley said the Mitchell Shield final, an away-game against Lockyer, on February 5, would be a challenge.