Brothers won’t let T20 woes hamper Poole Cup run
Brothers failed to adjust to the shorter format at the same clip as their rivals and it cost them a chance at a finals berth.
That was the assessment from stand-in skipper Michael Comerford after his side struggled in its return to Div 1 T20 Shootout action this month.
Brothers managed to win just one game upon resumption of the T20 fixtures and dropped from equal-first to out of the running as a result.
It was a surprising series of events considering the team was coming off a hugely successful start to its Poole Cup campaign, sitting outright first before the switch to the shorter format.
Brothers’ Div 2 side went on to win their respective T20 grand final, however the first graders were consigned to an early Christmas break.
“We definitely didn’t adjust to the T20 format and I think that probably showed in the end,” Comerford said.
“As we saw, the top three teams (Magpies, Norths and Walkerston) set themselves apart over those last two weekends and they deserved to be there.”
Brothers was dealt a cruel double blow in round 7 when skipper Matthew Wicks went down with a hamstring injury in a heavy loss to Norths.
Wicks’ absence was felt the following day against eventual champions Magpies, in a game Brothers had every chance to win but failed to capitalise at the key moments.
“That game against Magpies is the one we let slip,” Comerford said.
“We were in a position to win it and we couldn’t.
“It didn’t help having Wicksy go down in the Norths game.”
Wicks’ absence meant Comerford was thrust into the captaincy on short notice.
Though no stranger to barking orders and setting fields, he admitted it took some time to adjust to the mindset.
“It was the last thing I was thinking about, to be honest,” Comerford said.
“It’s one of those jobs that … it’s another discipline, in a way. You have to be thinking about every ball and even before the game. It did take me a bit to get used to it again.
“I’m more than happy for Wicksy to come back and take the reins, put it that way.”
With the Poole Cup set to resume on January 9, Comerford says Brothers has already put the disappointment of the T20s behind them.
He believes the team has the right balance to continue its table-topping campaign and do some damage at the point end of the season.
“We’re on top of the ladder at the moment which is unfamiliar territory for us as a team, but there’s still a lot of cricket to go,” Comerford said.
“It will be a good test for us to prove that it wasn’t a fluke that we’re there right now.
“I think the style of cricket we were playing was pretty consistent. We were doing the same things week-in, week-out, which is something we haven’t been able to do in the past.
“It’s probably a sign of maturity in our team.”