Ipswich end decade-long drought in style
MATT Guest is still pinching himself after the young Centrals all-rounder captained the Ipswich Pioneers to their first Webb Shield title in more than a decade on Sunday.
Ipswich lifted the prestigious SEQ representative trophy for the first time since 2007/08 and 17th time in total, following a dominant 105-run victory over the previously undefeated Warehouse Reps.
"It's a pretty surreal feeling,” Guest said of lifting the Webb Shield.
"Coming into the game we were all confident, but being able to get the job done for the city was pretty cool. It hasn't been done in 11 years, so we were pretty proud of our efforts.”
Mick Ridgewell was the sole surviving player of the victorious 2007/08 Ipswich side which last tasted grand final success.
Guest said the win was made extra special having Ridgewell, as well as Ipswich mainstays such as Centrals teammate Wayne Jones there to be part of the moment.
"They (Kev Cumming and Jones) put so much hard work into getting the Plunkett Cup and Webb Shield sides picked. To see the smiles yesterday afternoon after the result was a good feeling,” Guest said.
"Wayne was close to having a tear I think. It just meant so much to him.”
For Guest, it was "a pretty surreal feeling” to captain his city to a rare representative victory.
"I'm speechless still. Sitting down yesterday having a couple of beers . . . it still hasn't hit me really,” he said.
"I never thought I'd be in the Webb Shield side, let alone captaining a side that hadn't won in 11 years.
"It's something I'm very proud of - an unbelievable feeling.”
Redbacks pairing Brodie Dwyer and Vaughan Oldham were the standouts with bat and ball; the former arriving at the crease with Ipswich floundering at 3/10 en-route to 58 off 93 deliveries.
He and Mick Ridgewell (32 off 55) grafted an Ipswich middle-order resurgence to get the visitors to the second drinks break without losing another wicket.
When Ridgewell departed it was Troy Cooper (34 off 61) who kept the run-rate ticking along.
"We went out (to bat) with a plan and that didn't pay off,” Guest said. "But knowing our side had so much batting depth, we didn't panic. Ridgey and Brodie batted fantastically and go us to the second drinks break. That left the tail to be able to play their normal game.”
During the week, Oldham was tapped by Jones as the bowler key to a Pioneers victory and he duly saluted with a match-winning five-fa.
"I love playing with Vaughan, especially captaining the side with him under me,” Guest said. "He always listens, and he's just a fantastic bowler. He puts in every week for Redbacks, and comes in and does the same for Ipswich.
"He was so keen yesterday, and he showed up and got a well deserved five-fa.”
Oldham's figures of 5/25 were well-accompanied by Paul Milne (2/20) and Luke Barrett (2/10).
Only four Warehouse batsmen reached double figures, as the Ipswich attack took full advantage of a deteriorating Marchant Park pitch to have the home side all out for just 88 runs.