Charlie like a bull at a gate

CRICKET is a game full of opportunities.

And tomorrow at Wade Park, Kinross seamer Charlie Cooper is hoping to make the most of his.

Taking on the Blue Mountains in round four of the Mitchell Cricket Council colts competition without a throng of quick bowling talent, Orange District Cricket Association selectors have thrown debuts to both Cooper and Cavs giant Josh Doherty.

Cooper, 16, says he can’t wait to get out in the middle for his first senior representative fixture.

“I didn’t really think about playing colts at all,” he said of his 2013-14 goals.

“Going to Kinross I knew I’d play grade cricket but I tried out for the 16s rep because it’s pretty much going to be my last year of junior cricket. I played as well as I could in first grade and obviously got noticed.”

Cooper has taken five wickets with best figures of 2-8 this season against Waratahs.

Admittedly, it’s not the return he was hoping for, but Cooper was confident of making an impact against the Dave Redden-led Cattle Pups in a bid to keep Orange’s unbeaten run in the under 21 tournament alive.

“First grade cricket is pretty tough so I’m expecting it to be a bit like that but quicker paced in the field,” Cooper said, with Liam Gough, Braden Riles, Andrew Johnson and Sam Nicholls the regular colts missing this weekend.

“There’s a few of the boys out so hopefully I get a bit of a bowl and take a few wickets, that’s the plan.”

Following wins over defending champions Bathurst and Mudgee to begin the 2013-14 colts season, Orange mentor Phil Dodds said the key to his men continuing their red-hot form over the opening two games of the MCC colts premiership was focusing on number one - themselves.

“We’re missing a couple of good bowlers but we’ve still got Jono Warren and [selector] Steve [Ryan] tells me Josh has been bowling well for Cavaliers,” Dodds said, big totals and tight bowling being the key.

“We’ve just got to go out there and focus on our game.”

Orange tackles the Blue Mountains tomorrow from 10am at Wade Park.

Bathurst takes on Mudgee in the other fixture of the round.

n ORANGE: Hamish Finlayson (c), John Warrington, James Ryan, Charles Litchfield, Max Dodds, Matt Corben, Jake Pauletto, Jono Warren, Charlie Cooper, Tom Rogers, Josh Doherty.

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