Royal Hotel Cup crown on the line

AHEAD of their biggest Twenty20 challenge in two years, Orange City quick Ed Morrish says the Warriors “deserve” to be favourites to claim back-to-back Royal Hotel Cups against Cavaliers at Wade Park tonight.

Defending premiers following a 17-run win over CYMS in last year’s decider, Orange City will head into tonight’s decider after suffering just the one Twenty20 loss in two years.

The player of the year in last year’s Royal Hotel Cup, Morrish believes all of his side’s hard work will have paid off if they can overcome a red-hot Cavaliers line-up and take home consecutive Twenty20 titles.

“We deserve it, really,” Morrish said.

“We’ve lost one game in two years. But Cavs are a very good side. It’ll be hard to beat them. I’m looking forward to it.”

Standing in the way of the Warriors and back-to-back crowns is the Stu Middleton-led Cavs.

A week after belting an unbeaten 93 against Blayney, Middleton smashed 127 against CYMS in the tournament’s semi-final and will be the prized wicket in the Cavaliers top order for the likes of Morrish and the Warriors quicks.

“You need luck. He’s hard to bowl to,” Morrish said of the ODCA Twenty20 phenom.

“You can’t give him anything short because it goes over the fence for six. His bowling is just as good as his batting. Richie [Venner] is the same. It doesn’t matter where you bowl.

“They’ve got good players across the park. They’ll be hard to beat.”

Cavaliers quick Josh Doherty said everyone at the club was riding high on Middleton’s success. 

“It was awesome. Everyone was really happy,” Doherty said after last week’s ton.

“The week before he probably needed (time in the middle) and he definitely needed some time out in the middle last week ... everyone is riding it, everyone is pretty happy.”

Doherty said Orange City has a lot of good players in its ranks and it’ll take a near complete game from Cavs to come away with the crown, a title that would be the club’s first Twenty20 gong but 15th Royal Hotel Cup triumph overall.

“If we put our batting and bowling both together we’ll be hard to beat,” he said.

Tonight’s game begins at 6.30pm.

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