Laidley’s successful formula: Why club in three finals
AS the rain continued to tumble, the Ipswich cricket competition's leading all-rounder was feeling optimistic.
While the ongoing showers might mean some or all of this weekend's Cricket Ipswich grand final play could be washed out, Mick Sippel was upbeat.
"We've had about 60-70mm across the area, which has been nice, over the last few days,'' Sippel said.
The cricket stalwart is a national manager for Terranova Seeds, having previously been the Lockyer Valley Growers Association president.
"It's still raining nicely now . . . mostly happy farmers I'm dealing with.''
However, Sippel said the region had "nowhere near enough'' rain to get the creeks running.
While he loves playing cricket and being part of Laidley's endless cricket success, Sippel knows water for farming is crucial to everyone's livelihoods.
"I'm not going to chase it away if it rains the next three days,'' he said.
Fresh from scoring 164 for Laidley against the Redbacks, Sippel said winning cricket matches was a pleasurable bonus.
Competition leaders Laidley are scheduled to meet Centrals in the four-day final starting at Walker Oval, Amberley on Saturday.
While a morning start was unlikely, Sippel said the Blue Dogs were ready to contest their 14th first division grand final in the past 17 years.
"We've played well all season,'' Sippel said, having shared in many of those grand finals.
"I'm pretty happy with the way, not just first grade but firsts, seconds and thirds at the club.
"We would have well and truly won club championship by a long way this year.''
Laidley will play in the 2nd Grade final against Northsiders.
Laidley District complete the final trifecta in third grade, facing competition leaders Bundamba Strollers White, also at the Ivor Marsden Sporting Complex.
"Cricket aside, it's such a fantastic group of people to be involved in,'' Sippel said.
He praised everyone at the Laidley club for contributing to the ongoing success across all grades.
"Everybody in our club cares as much about how Seconds go, with how our Thirds go,'' he said.
"We've always put teams on the park. There's been plenty of clubs forfeit in cricket this year and we've had our own challenges this year as far as the lower grades putting a team on the paddock.
"But we've never given up and pulled the pin on it.
"We've had plenty of people around the town. Everyone can help us out.
"We've got parents taking kids from upper Mulgowie and driving them down to Ipswich to make sure we fill a team of Thirds.
"In the 20 years I've been at the club, we've never forfeited a single game.
"It's just a massive commitment there, particularly our parents, to make sure we put teams on the paddock . . . and that's why where we are.''
Laidley has a chance over the next two weekends to add to an enviable grand final record.
"It speaks volumes for the people in the club and how we care about what we do,'' he said.
"It says a lot about our structure and our people.
"Certainly looking back, it makes you proud to be involved.''
As for his second century of the season, Sippel appreciated a long batting stint last Saturday after a mixed season.
"It was good to spend some time in the middle,'' the accomplished left-handed batsman said, reflecting on his highest score for some time.
"We probably didn't have a lot to play for given we already had the minor premiership.
"There's nothing like practice in the middle of the wicket.
"I hit the ball pretty well I suppose.''
From his 240 matches, Sippel has the remarkable record of 10,840 runs, averaging 52.
He has scored 24 hundreds and 63 fifties.
His highest score is 261 against Swifts at Amberley on November 28, 2015.
With the ball, Sippel has taken 513 wickets at 14.16. That includes two 10-wicket hauls in a match, with a best of 9/28 against the Eastern Raiders at Bichel Oval on February 4, 2006.
Sippel was most pleased to find some top form going into the final.
"It's been up and down,'' he said.
"Prior to Christmas, I just had a lot of external stuff going on, extremely busy with work.
"I probably wasn't enjoying my cricket. I really needed that Christmas break.''
A two-week holiday at Burleigh Heads helped him recharge.
"I come back a bit refreshed I suppose,'' he said.
"Since Christmas, I think I've been playing pretty good.
"We just have a good batting unit.''
This season, he has scored 540 runs from 17 matches, at an average of 41.54.
The respected all-rounder has contributed 13 wickets heading into the grand final.
After a miracle finish last weekend, Centrals are preparing for their fifth grand final since the 2015/16 season.
Grand final opponents
First named team were four-day premiers, the team in bold were minor premiers
2020/21: LAIDLEY vs Centrals
2019/20: LAIDLEY drew with 3- Centrals (Covid)
2018/19: CENTRALS def Brothers
2017/18: Brothers def LAIDLEY
2016/17: Centrals def LAIDLEY
2015/16: LAIDLEY drew with Centrals
2014/15: LAIDLEY def 3 -Swifts
2013/14: LAIDLEY drew with Brothers
2012/13: Brothers def LAIDLEY
2011/12: Northsiders def EASTERN TAIPANS
2010/11: Strollers Raiders def LAIDLEY
2009/10: Northsiders def LAIDLEY
2008/09: LAIDLEY def Centrals
2007/08: LAIDLEY def Northsiders
2006/07: EASTERN RAIDERS def Northsiders
2005/06: LAIDLEY def Brothers
2004/05: LAIDLEY def Northsiders
2003/04: Brothers def REDBANK PLAINS
2002/03: Marburg def NORTHSIDERS
2001/02: REDBANK PLAINS def Marburg
2000/01: Redbank Plains def CENTRALS
1999/00: LAIDLEY RANGES def Redbank Plains
Season stats 17m 540r at 41.54 1x100s 1x50s HS 164 13w at 15.46 BB 3/3 vs Highfields Railways at Bichel Oval on 7Nov2020