Six-wicket loss stumps Orange

WHO said lightning doesn’t strike twice? For the second time this summer the Blue Mountains have upset Orange, with the Cattle Pups defeating their more-fancied Orange counterparts by six wickets in round four of the Mitchell Cricket Council colts competition yesterday at Wade Park.

Limping to 161, another superb knock from skipper Hamish Finlayson (55 not out) led the charge for Orange.

But Finlayson’s innings was overshadowed by that of Blue Mountains opener Callum Williams, who led the charge for the mountain men with a brilliant 81 not out at the top of the order in his side’s six-wicket win.

Yesterday’s triumph was just the Blue Mountains’ first in the MCC colts premiership in four years and, following the Western Zone Premier League win over Orange by 63 runs in December, coach Dave Redden was understandably thrilled with his side’s efforts.

“We’ve played well in two days of cricket,” he said.

“This was our home game and everything went to plan for us. We enjoy playing Orange, you never know, fingers crossed we play them in a President’s Cup final down the track.”

Winning the toss and batting, Orange lost quick wickets to be 3-24 after 10 overs. Hitting 4-35, it was then left to Finlayson and Max Dodds (29) to salvage the job, a task the pair performed well before Jake Pauletto (27) chimed in to help guide Orange to the all-out total of 161.

The wickets were largely shared, but Blue Mountains spearheads Justin Davies and Keegan Foote shone with 2-13 and 1-29 respectively.

In reply the day belonged to Williams.

Compiling solid partnerships with Sam Trankle (21) and Alex Crowther (31), Williams’ unbeaten knock was the catalyst for the Blue Mountains’ 4-162 total and resulting victory, with Charlie Litchfield the pick of the Orange bowlers with 3-24.

“We came up here wanting to perform well,” Redden enthused.

“Orange didn’t obviously play their best, but to our credit, bowling them out for 160 on their home deck was a fantastic effort. We’ve performed beyond expectations. We’re probably up 150 to 200 per cent on our last games,” he said.

The six-wicket loss was Orange’s first of the MCC colts premiership.

Co-coach Andrew Litchfield believes a little bit of luck went against his side and insisted the defeat was merely a blip on the radar.

“We didn’t play that badly. We clawed our way back to 161 ... all the boys haven’t played in three weeks, the Blue Mountains boys were the same. I’m confident we’ll perform well in our next match in February,” he said.

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