Gold XI lead one-day comp, look like genuine contenders
CRICKET: The one-day table for Sunshine Coast division one fixtures will begin a drastic reshaping in round eight as the leading six teams, separated by just four points on a packed ladder, continue the search for a top two spot.
Current leaders Gympie travel to Maroochydore to face a Swans side which may soon be confronted again in another format, for each is as yet undefeated in the Kennards Hire T20 competition.
The Gold has found stride in the fixtures with a more settled 11, and now has the look of genuine contenders in all areas.
With Lewis Waugh, Steve Brady and Brycen Mitchell backed up by Josh Brady and Kayden Dickfos, the visitors have the experience and ability to allow the rest of the side to perform with more comfort.
They face a Swans outfit that is still looking for that stability, with an unsettled attack and a top order that is heavily reliant on an irregular Adam Thornton and an emerging Callum Stitt, whose 295 runs at nearly 50 are starting to fulfil the promise he showed in his first Coast season.
Maroochydore's spinners have stood out, responsible for the bulk of overs and wickets, and the late addition of Dylan Betts has added to the cause.
Their duel with an oft-impetuous Gympie batting list will be interesting.
Glasshouse host Caboolture as the Rangers seek the consistency their success demands with the bat, and could find a good set of role models in the work ethic of some of the visitors.
Day in, day out, the Snakes produce the goods, and their rare losses never come without a huge struggle. Only a tougher side will hold them down.
Tewantin-Noosa's batting resembles Glasshouse a lot at times as the highs and lows are equally divided, and the bowling strength of the Thunder has provided the momentum for the home side to look at the clash with Nambour as a source of progression on a tangled leader board.
With Kobi Griggs away with the Scorchers, the Cutters lack the allrounder's impact, but still have the depth in Ledger, Wallace and Renouf to set up the rest of the crew to display their wares.
Renouf, a bowler captain, could do worse than check out Ledger's economy rate with the ball-17 overs for 30 runs is always handy in a run chase.
Yandina will be again chasing that elusive clear win, and would fancy an enigmatic Caloundra for the breakthrough.
But the Lighthouses have produced 2/297, then 10/132 and 6/202 in their last three digs, so the runs are there.
For the home side to triumph, the top order has to go on with the job, as only Jack Whisker has passed a half-century.
Regardless of rate, the Pioneers should aim to bat the full 50 overs, and that will be the task of the top six.