Presidents Cup final replay hinges on under 21s

BATHURST and Mudgee’s Presidents Cup cricket final was abandoned yesterday due to the heavy weekend rain, but there could be an unexpected opening that would still allow the two sides to play off for the title.

Initially thoughts were that Bathurst as reigning champions and victors over Mudgee in their regular season clash would retain the title without a ball being bowled.

A stacked calendar from now until season’s end would have more or less meant that there would be no window in which to stage the game.

Bathurst District Cricket Association president Campbell Graham, though, says that a rescheduled match could take place in a fortnight but it will depend on the outcome of Mudgee’s Mitchell Cricket Council under 21s match this Sunday.

“The under 21s go into their finals now for the next three weeks so in theory that takes up those weeks, and then we begin the local finals which are played over Saturday and Sunday anyway,” Graham explained.

“But Mudgee hosts Orange this weekend in the 21s major semi-final, and if they win that they earn themselves a week off, and that would give us a chance.”

Bathurst under 21s host Lithgow this Sunday, and a win there would mean that they too are in action on the mooted Presidents Cup date.

Of their side, though, only Jeremy Judge is a regular in the opens team and as such Bathurst would have no trouble fielding an opens team and an under 21s team on the same date.

Mudgee, though, are a different story.

The majority of their talented colts team are also part of the senior squad.

If they were to lose to Orange in the major semi and had to back up on Sunday week for the preliminary final, there would be no chance that they could field a 21s team and a competitive opens team on the same day.

“It would not be fair on Mudgee to do that, we only lose “Judgey” if that were to happen but for them it would mean eight or nine players missing out,” Graham said.

“I spoke to [Bathurst captain] Daniel Casey about the possibilities, he understands that circumstances might not allow it but he would certainly rather win a competition on the field than have it decided by the weather.”

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