United's eyes on minor premiership
THE Frank Coulthard Oval diamonds have taken a pounding this week and Brothers United softball coach David Gear is not confident his girls will take the field this weekend.
They managed to play a fortnight ago when cricket and the horse races were cancelled, but Gear fears the constant rain may make the clay-based running tracks unfit for play tomorrow.
It would be a shame if their game against the North Bundaberg Moray Eels was cancelled, because it shapes as one last duel before the major semi-final in three weeks’ time.
United sit three points clear of Eels on the ladder, and it should stay that way unless United lose their final two games.
“We’re in the box seat to take out the minor premiership at the moment,” Gear said.
“But it has been much tighter than last season, and a pretty even competition throughout the year.”
If play goes ahead this weekend it will be a trial run for the first week of semi-finals.
This means United will face Eels in one semi, while the loser of Wests Lynx and South Sluggers will be knocked out in the other.
Despite Souths Sluggers and Wests Panthers lagging 20 points behind, both sides have proved their ability to ruffle United’s feathers.
“Wests have got a win over us this year and Souths are always on the money. Any team could really sneak into the finals. There are no certainties,” Gear said.
Eels possess an unpredictable and at times brilliant batting attack, but it failed to fire against Brothers in their last encounter.
The pitcher-catcher combination of Peta Gibbs and Tanya Peterson proved too much, going down 13-0.
“We were able to silence them so well in the last game and that is the secret to beating those girls,” Gear said.
“Tanya was saying they could hit her wherever they wanted no matter where it was pitched — they have no weaknesses.”
Wests are neck and neck with Souths, but their results in the next two rounds will have no bearing on their semi-final battle.
Last year, Wests were able to upset the Eels to progress to the elimination semi-final and that is what they will be hoping for again this year.
Meanwhile, ATW are sitting pretty on top, but United 8 will want the win to move within reach of second position.
However, Lynx are more likely to take the points against Sluggers and hold on to the spot.
Sabretoothed play United 7 in the other men’s fixture.