QUEANBEYAN spinner Josh Connolly is hopeful his seven-wicket haul against North-Canberra last weekend can prove the catalyst for a late-season form reversal.
Connolly was almost unplayable on an underdone Freebody Oval pitch last Saturday, ripping his way through the Norths batting line up to finish with figures of 7/47.
The performance was the best by a Queanbeyan bowler in first grade since Adam Heading bagged 8/46 against Norths back in 2005.
It also marked a pleasing return to form for the off spinner who had been struggling to make an impact since returning from the Christmas break.
“I’d been really disappointed with my own performances over the past few weeks,” Connolly said. “We’ve had a lot of guys away and I felt like I wasn’t stepping up to the plate.
“I’m a confidence player, when I’m confident I bowl well and I think after going for a few runs over the past couple of weeks, getting that early breakthrough [on Saturday] restored a bit of confidence.”
Connolly was joined in the wickets by fellow spinner Mark Solway who finished with 3/43 as Norths proved unable to master a turning Freebody Oval wicket.
The North Canberra club was eventually dismissed for just 135 before Queanbeyan finished the day on 7/162.
Connolly credited much of his turnaround in form to Tuggeranong spinner and ACT Comets teammate Shane Devoy with whom he has worked closely since joining the Comets program last year.
“I credit a lot of last weekend to Shane who I worked with on a few things over the last couple of weeks and it came good,” he said. “It was good to be able to steal some of his knowledge.”
With the Bluebags now out of the running in the one-day competition, Queanbeyan’s 2012/13 title hopes hinge on the club’s two-day campaign.
Queanbeyan is currently in third position on the two-day ladder and will be in search of an outright victory against fourth-placed Norths in order to secure its top four standing.
Connolly meanwhile, will be looking to play his part in spinning the Bluebags into the finals on the back of his seven-wicket haul.
“I bounce ideas off [ACT Comets coach] Mark [Higgs] a lot and he’s often said there just came a time for him where his rhythm for spin bowling just clicked,” he said. “Hopefully last weekend was that catalyst for me and a sign of things to come.”
ACT Cricket, two-day competition
Who: Queanbeyan v North-Canberra Gungahlin
Where: Freebody 1
When: Saturday, 11am