Ben O'Connell
Ben O'Connell Contributed

SQ downed again but O'Connell gains Queensland Country nod

BEN O'Connell and Michael Topp have returned from Mackay without the rewards they were after at the Queensland Country Cup.

The pair's South Queensland team went down to North Queensland over two days.

O'Connell, the South Queensland skipper, had the consolation of being named vice-captain for the Queensland Country team to contest the national titles in Canberra next month.

North Queensland made 277 batting first on Saturday before South replied with 201.

"We probably didn't get the best of the conditions," O'Connell said.

"When they batted, they had sunshine all day.

"Then we had to bat for 16 overs on Saturday and it was a bit on and off because of rain. Then yesterday (Sunday) was a bit on and off."

When it came South's time to bat, O'Connell was confident his team could get the runs.

"We thought we restricted them pretty well," O'Connell said.

"All our bowlers did well.

"We were consistent, which is what we were looking for."

Topp and O'Connell took a wicket each, with the skipper bowling out the man who will replace him as Queensland Country captain, Todd Schloss.

Topp dismissed North Queensland number five Mark Tavianni with a throat ball that caught his glove and was caught at slip.

"He bowled well in his second spell," O'Connell said of Topp.

"Once he got his first few overs out of the way.

"He bowled a bit better with the older ball.

"He's only young and it will be good for his experience."

South Queensland lost three wickets on Saturday afternoon but O'Connell remained confident a win was possible.

"We had a good partnership on Sunday morning but more interruptions to play didn't help us," he said.

O'Connell came it at number six with the score 4-87 and tried to bat time, but could manage just nine from 64 deliveries.

"I was just trying to occupy the crease," he said.

"I thought if I could bat a long time, we could win.

"But it was raining a bit and I chipped one to mid-wicket."

The loss hasn't discouraged O'Connell's belief that South Queensland can regain the trophy North Queensland has won for the past two years.

"I don't think we're too far away," he said.

"If a couple of things go our way."

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