Brothers are still the top dogs
WHEN Brothers won the end-of-season premiership at the beginning of this year, captain David Boge hinted that it may signal a changing of the guard.
No Mick Warden, no Boyd Williams, and perhaps no Adam Rayner was the word from the skipper.
As it turned out Warden was the only casualty this year, with Rayner and Williams unable to tear themselves away from Salter Oval for any great length of time.
Coincidentally they have been instrumental in Brothers’ continued charge to cricketing supremacy, with barely a blip along the way.
Combined with the help of newcomer Mitch Sartori and the rock solid Boge, Rayner has blasted attacks with the bat while Williams has slowly regained his devastating presence with the ball.
No better example of this was given in the NewsMail Cup final.
Sending in Across The Waves it was Williams who initiated the damage, while Boge and Sartori struck the killer blow.
And right to script it was Rayner who entered and played another match-winning knock to guide his team to an easy win, hitting his fourth hundred this year.
Add to the mix destructive batsmen Mick Parsons, Peter Turich, Jarrod Laycock and Dean Kronk and Alistair Rathbone with the ball and their depth speaks for itself.
It is for this reason that they remain the top side by quite some distance, and shape as the red-hot favourites for another premiership come March.
Having said that, both Country Wests and Across The Waves have shown that they can compete with the top dogs, albeit for too brief a time.
Country Wests started the season well, lifting their first premiership in the form of the inaugural Twenty20 premiership.
They got there on the back of the batting efforts of young gun Steve Nichols and the more experienced Phil Proctor.
Smashing 90 in the first game of the season, Nichols has not looked back and has continued to perform for Wests while also sliding into the Queensland Country team along the way.
Between then and now only a last-game victory against Brothers has given them reason to smile, with a string of disappointing efforts leaving them on the sidelines for the mid-season final.
For Wests to have any chance of holding more silverware, their senior players must start performing with bat and ball when it really matters.
Waves are in the same boat – capable of going toe to toe with Brothers if their big guns fire.
They do not boast the depth of Brothers, or even Wests in their batting, but their pace bowling attack of Mitch Waters, Trent Prossliner, Liam Denning, Rhys Grills and Brendan Prossliner is more than handy.
Add to that Wide Bay off spinner Chris Duff and they have the ingredients to dominate batting attacks.
So far their batting has not stood up when it needed to – only 52 were mustered in the first innings of the final when anything over 100 may have been enough to challenge for a win.
Captain Brendan Prossliner has shown his desire to topple Brothers, and dug in for a patient 99 against them earlier this year.
But Waves will need more from him and from those around him if they are to knock Brothers from top spot this season.