CRICKET: Four teams are still battling for the One-Day final with two limited overs rounds to go in SCCA Division 1 fixtures, a congestion caused primarily by the wet spring rather than a red-hot competition.
Eight washed-out matches in a sodden November meant sides were unable to separate, leaving Maroochydore 5 points clear of Caboolture, who are on 20, with Glasshouse, Gympie and Nambour another 5 back.
Gympie's hopes are forlorn though, as the Gold has the bye this weekend, and a win to any of Caboolture, Glasshouse or Nambour means curtains.
Maroochydore travels to Nambour, which closed 2017 with a sparkling win over Gympie, and the Swans will be keen to continue the progression as a team they showed before the break.
Blaine Schloss has moulded a squad looking vulnerable after huge staff changes into a definitely competitive outfit, with contributions from many angles, and will face a Cutters eleven probably a little further back in the process.
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The loss of Ash Renouf, then Hayden O'Connor for a protracted spell with injury, sent the Nambour bowling into disarray.
Their return and the maturing of Tyran Eggmolesse and English visitors Andy Collins and George Darlow to add to the ever-dependable Nick Wallace and scoring cornerstone Steve Ledger may just add the Cutters to the list of hopefuls for the fourth semi-final spot in March.
Caboolture ventures north to Read Park to face a Thunder side seeking to remove the inconsistency stifling the improvements obvious in the past 18 months.
Jarrod Officer moves back to the captaincy after Stephen Shaw returned his inner Scorcher to John Blanck Oval, and drives the enthusiasm of the side that provided a quartet of players to Troy Dennien's Country Week winning Murgon assembly.
Ben Gear has been a revelation for Tewantin, with 345 runs at 69, second only to the Snakes' Glen Batticciotto, and the run-out on 99 in his last round provided an unwelcome partner for his earlier 93.
A three-figure breakthrough would do wonders for himself and his team.
Batticciotto is no stranger to centuries at numerous levels, but would love to invite some company to the club, with only Matt Schubert coming through the door in 18 months.
The One-Day title-holders want another final appearance, and will make it hard for the Thunder.
Glasshouse provided a setback for the Snakes in round 6, and meet Caloundra at Henzell Oval knowing that two wins, the second over Tewantin, are needed to stake a claim.
The Rangers had a real scare in round 2 against the Lighthouses, and in the second half of the season must demonstrate that a good line-up needs to score runs to be a threat.
Brett Milini is making slow advances after passing the 7000 career-run milestone, and now experiences his leanest start to a season since 2003-04.
After Round 8 One Day Competition
Position Team Points
1: Maroochydore - 25
2: Caboolture - 20
3: Glasshouse - 15
4: Gympie - 15
5: Nambour - 15
6: Caloundra - 11
7: Tewantin/Noosa - 11