Shield holders ward off Brothers
IT was a good thing Robbie Fitzgerald was back from the Indoor Cricket World Cup to back up his Brothers team mates on Saturday.
It was day two of the Southern Star Shield match and Brothers held back the strength of the undefeated Frenchville team, who were all out for 198 at the Rockhampton Cricket Ground.
But Frenchville’s score still managed to top Brothers’ by 38 runs, with Brothers scoring 160 all out last weekend in day one of the match.
It was Robert Fitzgerald’s first match back with his team after he helped claim the world cup for Australia last month.
And he gave Brothers a good start when he claimed a wicket off Brendan Handley, who scored five runs.
Brothers captain Richie Pershouse said despite Fitzgerald’s push, it was a team effort.
“Robbie got five wickets, but I think everyone bowled really well – it was a team effort with the ball,” Pershouse said yesterday.
“I am very impressed with the boys, they worked hard and we got the rewards.”
Pershouse said with the game being so close, predicting who would win was too close to call. “Everyone had a shot to win. It was only on the 69th over that they crossed our 160,” he said.
The mere 38 runs dividing the two teams reflected a score that Frenchville’s stand-in captain, Jason Wells, had expected.
“Well it was always going to be tough; Brothers always bowl consistently and when you have Robert Fitzgerald bowling 30 overs of the same stuff it gets a bit tough,” he said.
“It made it hard to score when they didn’t bowl too many bad balls and then our guys were forced to fight it out and did what they had to do to make the runs we needed.
“It was a very hard wicket and they bowled well in the conditions.”
But it wasn’t luck that saw Frenchville take the game and keep their title as the undefeated team.
“We knew if we could get one good partnership, in the end we could do it,” Wells said.
“We had four guys who were the major contributors. Brent Rothery was one who opened the bat and fought through last weekend and early in this weekend,” he said.
“Joe McGahan was another but our big partnership was Nick Hills and Brent Rothery, and without them we probably would have lost,” he said.
Hills scored 47 runs when he was bowled out by Les Berryman, and Rothery claimed 28 runs before he was caught out by Fitzgerald.
“It was the make-or-break partnership with Hill and Rothery and it won the game for us,” Wells said.
“Hills has been trying to get a spot in A-grade all year, and he had a top score and an excellent innings.”
Next weekend Brothers will face Gracemere, and Pershouse said he expected the game to be tough.
“It will be another tight one and both teams will have to play really well if they want to get their victory in the game,” Pershouse said.
“Gracemere and Brothers both have great sides and hopefully we will have a little luck our way.”