Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Hot Pioneers Tackle Tweed

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Hot Pioneers Tackle Tweed

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Smeaton

FORM, not reputation, will be the hallmark of the Ipswich Pioneers' Webb Cup campaign this season.

Coach Craig Jesberg has selected a team of players with early-season form to take on newcomers Tweed District tomorrow on the Gold Coast.

South East Queensland captain Ben O'Connell will lead a team that includes fellow SEQ representatives Travis Ilka and Ben Gibson.

What was most noticeable though was the inclusion of Premier League opening round centurions Jason O'Sullivan and Tim Wichura to lead the batting line-up.

Unfortunately for Jesberg, Wichura yesterday informed the coach that work commitments would rule him out of cricket for the weekend.

Luke Barrett (university studies) and Sean Lutter (Ipswich/Logan Hornets commitments) will also miss the game, along with a number of injured players, including Brothers recruit Mark Sharrard.

Paul Milne and Justin Dawes come into the team which O'Connell thinks is set for a good opening performance.

C[pounds sterling]They've gone with the guys that have performed recently, whether that was in the T20 against Toowoomba or club cricket,C[yen] O'Connell said.

C[pounds sterling]It is clear guys are going to be picked on form, not just on reputation.

C[pounds sterling]Those that are performing will get the chance to play for Ipswich, which is great.

C[pounds sterling]Benny Gibson's been in good form and Rhys O'Sullivan will spearhead our attack with the ball.

C[pounds sterling]Travis Ilka behind the stumps is also very good with the bat so hopefully he can do a job for us up the top as well.

C[pounds sterling]All up it's a solid team.C[yen]

Jesberg said it was a shame some players were unavailable for the opening clash but he was confident the replacements were more than capable of stepping up to the challenge.

C[pounds sterling]Tim played well on the weekend and in the T20 on Monday night so he's a loss for us,C[yen] Jesberg said. …

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