CYMS veteran Dave Neil refuses to entertain the notion his team has a play-offs hoodoo ahead of today’s Orange District Cricket Association limited overs final against Cavaliers.
CYMS have been without any top grade silverware since 1983-84 and have suffered eight consecutive finals losses to Cavaliers in the last decade, including four grand final defeats.
Neil said the history counted for little considering most of his team are too young to remember most of the losses.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a hoodoo for a lot of our boys,” he explained.
“Al Dhatt and I have played and lost to Cavs in most of the finals over the past 10 years, but the rest of the boys are pretty new to first grade and so aren’t affected by that. The young guys have only played Cavs over the last three years, when we’ve had a more-than-decent record against them, including a couple of wins against them this season.”
Neil said a win would be huge for CYMS as a club, having experienced a turbulent 12 months leading into the final.
“Regardless of any circumstances, a win would mean plenty,” he said.
“Thirty years is a long time to wait. Too long.”
The green and golds have dominated the first grade competition this season, losing just one game in the first 10 rounds.
Coincidentally, the loss came at the hands of Cavaliers last week.
Despite the loss, Neil is confident his team can return to winning form today and secure the limited overs trophy.
“Cavs are an aggressive team, they like to assert themselves early and play from in front,” Neil explained.
“That was probably the case last weekend. It’s our job to make sure we hit the ground running on Saturday, and if we do we’ll take a lot of beating.”
Cavaliers vice-captain James Ryan said the rivalry between the two teams made for a great game of cricket.
“The history adds a bit of spark,” he said.
“It gives you something extra to play for, not that you should need more motivation in a final.”
In what could prove damaging for CYMS, Ryan said his team had been far from its best this year and had ample room for improvement.
“We’re probably playing at around 75 per cent at the moment,” he explained.
“If our batting has clicked, our bowling hasn’t and vice versa. We’ve been a bit inconsistent.
“If we put it all together, I back us.”
Play starts between CYMS and Cavaliers at noon at Wade Park.