Valleys eye off chance
WHILE Harlequins and Colts appear locked in a battle likely to be decided on a first innings basis, Valleys has taken to the blowtorch to Wests following A Grade cricket action at the weekend.
The games, the start of round three, were played at the One Mile Ovals owing to the Gympie Offroad Gold XI taking up residency at Albert Park against Nambour.
In the Valleys and Wests encounter, Valleys, dual defending premiers, wasted little time turning up the heat on Wests.
Valleys opened the batting and concluded their innings on 130, signalling loud and clear the intention of an outright victory.
Best with the ball for Wests was Brendan Sippel, who lifted four wickets with the concession of 52 runs.
Ordinarily, 130 is not the type of score to pose too much of a threat, but Valleys made the figure imposing with devastating form with the ball against Wests in their first innings.
Wests were dismissed for a meek 57 when its last batsman was sent packing bewildered from the field.
Three ducks and no batsmen able to make more than 20 runs, told the story of a side feeling the heat of its opposition.
With a first innings win safely in the vault, Valleys returned after a small break to begin its second innings, hoping to bolster its score by moving its big hitters up the batting order.
The plan for the side will be to enhance its score and leave enough time to dismiss Wests in order to seize outright honours.
It would seem improbable for Wests to stage the ultimate of comebacks and claim the outright, although plenty of cricket remains.
A more likely best-case scenario for Wests will involve restricting Valleys to a first innings win only.
Play will resume this weekend with Valleys sitting on no wickets for 10 runs.
Meanwhile, in the other game, Harlequins posted a sturdy first innings total of 272 to lay down the challenge for Colts.
In form for Harlequins, who enjoyed an impressive outright win by nine wickets against Wests last weekend, was Danny Shepperson who swung the bat freely to collect 78 before dropping his wicket.
Tim Kross, on 64, was another outstanding performer to help keep the run rate soaring.
Colts' bowling attack hit a number of speed bumps as Harlequins gained momentum, but best figures went to J Saure (3 for 30) while B Smith also collected three wickets, although for a less economical 46 runs.
Action resume this weekend at the One Mile Ovals.