CAVALIERS opener James Ryan hopes Saturday’s mammoth 260-run win over Waratahs is the kind of message that’ll have the rest of the Orange District Cricket Association’s first grade sides shaking in their spikes.
Ryan and skipper Richie Venner belted a record opening-wicket stand of 362 at Riawena Oval to help rocket Cavs to the top of the 2013-14 ladder.
In the process, Venner hit an unbeaten 222 and Ryan notched up his first top grade ton.
As preparations for the upcoming summer as well as impending HSC exams collided, it’s lucky for Cavaliers Ryan dedicated most of his time in the nets hitting leather rather than hitting the books for his final tests.
“I’ve been concentrating more on my first game of cricket than the HSC this year,” Ryan laughed after hitting 128 not out.
“But I didn’t know what to expect with it being Waratahs and their first game.
“We had a meeting with Richie at the start of the year and with a few new comers to the team we decided it’d be best to open with me and Ritchie at the top.
“We walked out there and first ball Richie smacked for four. I hit my first ball for four as well.
“I thought it would be our day from there. Everything just clicked.”
As everything clicked, Ryan ticked off one of his season’s goals - scoring his maiden first grade century.
The man at the other end for all of Ryan’s 128 runs, Venner was impressed with the maturity that’s entered his deputy’s game.
“To see him do that, to score those runs, was fantastic,” Venner said of his vice-captain.
“Hopefully we go up from there. James has been named vice-captain because he’s shown interest in being Cavaliers’ captain in the future and that’s what we’ve been looking for. He showed good leadership on Saturday.”
Cavs now play Kinross at Wade Park in round two on Saturday.
The students, too, recorded an impressive victory in beating Centrals by six wickets but after such an emphatic opening round display, it’s Cavaliers who’ll go in as unbackable favourites.
Ryan says deservedly so.
“It’s good to go out there and get that first win for the year. We really wanted to make a statement and we did that,” he said.