Ryan has cause for celebration

CRICKET

ORANGE coach Steve Ryan says Orange’s 2013-14 Western Zone Premier League and President’s Cup campaigns were undoubtedly successful, despite claiming just two wins across both competitions.

Incredibly, with two wins from six games Orange enjoyed its most successful season since 2009-10 when the Bluebaggers last won the President’s Cup.

In seasons 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 Orange celebrated just one victory.

Ryan said his team’s 16-run victory over a star-studded Bathurst, and a 91-run win over Cowra combined with the consistency of Orange’s line-up, compared to previous years, is cause to celebrate.

“We got a couple of great wins, both back-to-the-wall type wins,” Ryan said.

“We won both those games against the odds and was reminiscent of the way Orange’s best teams, seven or eight years ago, used to play. It was tough, consistent, uncompromising cricket. This season we had guys, young and old, sticking their hand to play cricket, some of whom probably thought they’d never play for Orange again.

“Dan Sandford came back, as did Lincoln Duncan and Matt Brakenridge. Richie Venner helped out, and we also pushed through a lot of young guys. We found some continuity and consistency and the group was a lot more harmonious than in previous years.”

Ryan conceded certain aspects of Orange’s season were disappointing, verging on “abysmal”.

“The Blue Mountains game was a low point,” he said.

“We let ourselves down from an almost unloseable position, which can be put down to inexperience. Next year however, we won’t have that excuse. Everyone in the team will have at least a year under their belt in opens representative cricket. Guys like Andrew Johnson, Matt Corben and Max Dodds are in that boat, and hopefully we’ll still have guys who have seven or eight years under their belt, like Sanga [Sandford] and Brako.

“The core group of players is there now, and they want to play. We’ve put some building blocks in place for the coming seasons, and we need to keep improving next year, and the year after.

“There’s a feeling among the group we could do something special in the coming seasons.”

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