UNBEATEN through six games to start the 2012-13 Orange District Cricket Association, Cavaliers will now look to within for a challenge this season.
The premiership favourites have smashed all comers this season, culminating in perhaps their most dominant win of the season last weekend - an eight-wicket triumph chasing 8-156 over defending premiers Centrals.
Making the victory all the more impressive, Cavaliers did it without three of the side’s best performers in Stu Middleton, Chris Martin and Trent Jones.
But as has been the case all season, others stepped up.
James Ryan hit 71 while skipper Richie Venner chimed in with 34 to help guide Cavaliers to victory.
With the ball Greg Martin was impressive in nabbing 2-22.
Now, six from six in mid-January and with the possibility of an unbeaten season on the cards, Cavaliers will focus on testing the boundaries of their own abilities today when they meet CYMS at Country Club Oval.
“Once again, we don’t really worry about what the opposition is doing, obviously what they throw up we’ll have to try and nullify but it’s about executing the plans we’ve put in place this season,” Venner said ahead of the opening play of round 10, a two-day round.
“We’re just worried about our game. With holidays at the moment, it’s tough to get the same 11 on the paddock.”
The last Saturday cricket defeat Cavaliers suffered was in last summer’s grand final, a 129-run loss to Centrals.
Since then, though, the club has given some younger players greater responsibilities in the side, a move that has paid dividends.
“Our young guys that Steve Ryan has brought through juniors that have played together for a long time, they’ve been great,” Venner said referring to the likes of James Ryan, Matt Corben, Liam Gough and Charlie Foran.
“They play for the team and not the individual, which is testament to the way Steve has coached them.”
CYMS will enter today’s game under-strength with skipper Trent Colley out on NSW Country duty while spinner Al Dhatt is still away.
Stand-in captain Dave Neil believes the Cavaliers match-up presents his CYMS side with the perfect opportunity to test themselves against the ODCA’s benchmark team.
“They’re the favourites, and deservedly so,” Neil said.
“But by no means are they unbeatable. We’re a strong side, it’s just a matter of playing to our potential rather than taking for granted we’ll be there at the end.”
For Cavs, Chris Martin is back but all-rounder Middleton, wicket-keeper Jones and bowler Mark Maybin are all still away.
It’s also unlikely Gough will bowl.
However, Venner is confident the Western Zone quick will provide a more than handy contribution with the bat.
“He’s as good, if not better, with bat as he is with the ball,” Venner said.
Today’s play begins at 1pm.