Gold match in the balance on Coast
THE Gympie Off-road Gold XI are giving themselves the best chance possible to make the Craiglea Premier League semi-finals.
The Gold are just 17 runs behind Caloundra in the quest for first innings points and holding on to fourth spot in the ladder.
Captain Steve Brady said the aim for next weekend was to knuckle down and score the 17 runs needed and then go on to make another 50-80 runs before making Caloundra bat again.
He said it was Gympie's best chance of making the Craiglea Premier League semi-finals in a long time.
The Gold are now in fourth spot, but they need to keep winning to hold on to the position.
A first-innings or outright win against third-placed Caloundra will give them plenty of confidence as they go into the final game against top-of-the-table Caboolture.
Brady said the Gold's form had been very good since Christmas.
"We have only lost one game," Brady said. "We are going really good and are becoming a good team.
He said before Christmas the team was swapping and changing a bit too much.
Since Christmas the Gold XI had stuck pretty much to the same 11.
"You can feel a real team spirit now," Brady said.
That team spirit came into play on Saturday when the Gold bowled Caloundra out for just 133 runs on a super-fast Caloundra Oval.
Brady said bowlers Ben Smith (5-33), Troy Ashton (4-22) and Andy Batten in the field really led from the front.
Batten's fielding saved about 30 runs, according to Brady.
"At Caloundra you have to get to the ball before it gets past you," Brady said.
"If it gets passed you, you can't run it down.
"Andy put his body on the line diving around the field."
Brady himself was also back in good form.
He scored 59 runs opening the innings, but the Gold lost their other five wickets fairly cheaply and were 6-116 at the end of play.
Troy Ashton and Ben Smith are the not-out batsmen at present and will have to repeat their heroics with the ball with the bat to get the Gold over the line for a first-innings win.