ORANGE will not be defending its Mitchell Cricket Council colts crown after losing yesterday’s preliminary final to Lithgow.
It was a disappointing performance from Orange, making just 78 before Lithgow reach the winning total with only three-down.
Orange 21s co-coach Steve Ryan said his side simply didn’t perform in Lithgow.
“Lithgow bowled to the right areas. We didn’t apply ourselves when batting,” Ryan explained.
“We never looked like we were in the match.”
Opener John Warrington (22) made a start for Orange but his partners James Ryan (0), Adam Cowden (4) and Matt Corben (1) didn’t stay with him long enough to lay a foundation.
Stuart Naden also made 22 for Orange at number five but next best was Liam Gough on 10.
Orange lost wickets in bunches and struggled to form partnerships throughout its innings.
For Lithgow, Josh Howarth and Chris Redding gave the Orange line-up plenty of grief.
Howarth finished with the impressive figures of 5-14 from his 10 overs, while Redding took 3-24 off six.
In reply, Lithgow kept it simple with opener Sam Cameron top-scoring on 33 before the rest of his side worked to 3-80 and the win.
Naden was the only Orange bowler to take wickets with his 2-19 from five overs.
“We didn’t bowl to the conditions but it’s hard to bowl to a small total,” Ryan said.
“We took three quick wickets after lunch but by then the bird had already flown.”
Ryan said in previous matches Orange’s bowlers had been consistent but the team’s batting had let them down all season.
Lithgow will meet minor premiers Bathurst in this Sunday’s final.
Ryan said Bathurst should expect to be tested at home.
“Bathurst would be favourites but Lithgow could be the surprise packets,” he said.