Norths aim for second year
CRICKET: Back to back wins have set Norths up as the trailblazers for the 2018-19 DBCT Poole Cup, but close on their heels is a hungry Walkerston team and a Magpies unit on the road to redemption.
Norths' first grade team is primed to repeat last season's success after defeating Souths Sharks and Brothers over the double-header weekend.
Now they are quietly confident as they face underdog team Magpies in next week's round.
A surprise surge of wins from Magpies, who are coming off the back of a winless season, has launched them into the top three.
Returning captain Brant Attard said the boys exceeded all expectations and competed at a calibre which he didn't think they could meet.
"If you asked me before the weekend if we could beat Walkerston, honestly I would have said no,” he said.
The win against the then first placed team was a stepping stone which instilled a new confidence in the players.
"It's a real confidence builder for the young guys, knowing we can be competitive against the better sides now,” Attard said.
"Last season we lost against Norths by 300 runs in a game and there was a similar result against Walkerston.
"So for this year, to knock Walkerston off the first time we played them is a massive achievement and means we're on the way up.”
Star bowler Todd Dixon was missing from the weekend skirmish, making the win all the more impressive.
Dickson is a rep-level bowler and will be running on for the Mackay Nitros this weekend.
"He's one of the best bowlers in town, so for us not to have him on the weekend was huge,” Attard said.
Norths captain Peter Shepherd said that while he believed his team was the stronger side, the upset against Walkerston was a warning not to take Magpies lightly.
"Cricket can be a funny game, we have to be really cautious,” he said.
"We're definitely not disrespecting any teams... we'll go in and play them like a Walkerston team or so on.”
Shepherd said his team won't be taking any precautionary actions into training, but will stay vigilant to ensure they're on the top of their game come round five.
"There are no excuses on our behalf if we lose that game,” he said. Magpies may have pulled off a surprise win, but they don't want to get caught up in their success.
"We've improved, but whether we can beat Norths is still very much up in the air,” Attard said.
Walkerston will be looking to hit back in their next match, against fourth placed Brothers.