IT’S a ground Mick Sullivan holds very few fond memories of, but a victory at Tony Luchetti Sportsground tomorrow afternoon will ensure the CYMS captain-coach leave’s Lithgow an extremely happy man.
Close to 12 months ago Lithgow completed one of the more dominant grand final victories at home, smashing CYMS 40-14 to claim the 2012 title.
Earlier this year, too, the curse continued when Lithgow prevailed16-8 against the Orange side.
CYMS, however, took a giant step in vanquishing any form of Lithgow hoodoo last weekend, putting together a commanding first half to lead Workies 16-0 before running out 18-8 winners in the final round clash at Wade Park.
Tomorrow, CYMS and Workies go head-to-head in the Group 10 premier league qualifying semi-final.
Sullivan knows it’s now time to emulate home form on the road.
“We’re now on the road and as (Workies coach Graeme) Osborne reminded us we didn’t perform too well down in Lithgow in last year’s grand final,” Sullivan said.
“We’re out to put in another good performance.”
Should CYMS win, it’ll set up a tantalising major semi-final clash with Orange Hawks at Wade Park.
Without getting too far ahead of themselves, Sullivan said the lure of an all-Orange grand final qualifier was a “huge carrot” for the green and golds.
“(A win in Lithgow) means neither side leaves Orange for the rest of the year,” he said.
CYMS welcome back Brett Sargent for the match.
In the other camp, Lithgow will be without their side’s two most important attacking weapons.
Fullback Adnan Saleh and five-eighth Taf Nicholas have both been left out of Osborne’s side to tackle CYMS on Sunday, with both leaving the field in last weekend’s loss.
With both off the field, Lithgow lacked direction and potency out wide in the 10-point defeat, a loss that relinquished the club’s grip on back-to-back Group 10 minor premierships.
“We’ll prepare as if they’re going to be there,” Sullivan said.
Oberon travels to Bathurst St Pat’s for the premier league elimination semi-final today.
CYMS tackle Lithgow tomorrow at 2.10pm at Tony Luchetti Sportsground.
ORANGE CYMS: 1 Tim Bassmann, 2 Epa Navale, 3 Dom Maley, 4 Ali Beale, 5 Semisi Katoa, 6 Ben McAlpine, 7 Michael Sullivan (c), 8 Brent Colley, 9 Sam Hill, 10 Des Knight, 11 Riley Law, 12 Brett Sargent, 13 Matt Penny; Bench: 14 Romaric Bemba, 15 Kyran Bubb, 16 Harrison Muller, 17 Cody Robbins, 18 Cameron Jones , 19 Tom Satterthwaite
LITHGOW WORKIES: 1 Ben Hewes, 2 Blake Sheppeard, 3 Jeremy Fittler, 4 Scott Fittler, 5 Brent Brogan, 6 Brendon Van Veen, 7 Josh Howarth, 8 Alex Byrne, 9 Jamie Clark, 10 Chris Rhodes, 11 Jono Van Veen (c), 12 Corey Willmott, 13 Ahmed Ellaz; Bench: 14 Steve Lang, 15 Wade Newham-Jones