COMING off a mid-week victory over The Armidale School (TAS) in the Douglas Shield, Kinross’ confidence is sky-high and the students are salivating at the chance of taking on a weakened Orange City team today at Wade Park.
The Warriors have a vastly different line-up to that which will take the field come finals time, with leading run scorer John Warrington and middle order batsmen Craig Rogan and Ben Nexhip unavailable.
As a result, the Warriors head into the Orange District Cricket Association first grade round 14 match with a long tail - skipper Matt Findlay choosing to replace the trio of batsmen with all-rounders and bowlers.
Kinross need to win to stay in touch with fourth-placed Centrals, and potentially leap-frog them should the red-and-blacks lose to Cavaliers.
“We will definitely be going out to look for a victory,” Kinross coach Andrew Litchfield said.
“We need to go out and play good cricket against whatever 11 City put on the paddock, no matter who they are, and play aggressive cricket. A few guys got some runs against TAS, and they’ve got the feeling back of being on top. Sometimes it has seemed as though the boys feel like they’re only going to compete in weekend cricket, and when they go back to schoolboy cricket the difference in the way they handle themselves is huge.
“Hopefully we can take that kind of form into [today’s] game.”
Findlay said his team remains wary of Kinross.
“They’re always dangerous,” he said.
“Coming off a good win in their schoolboy competition, even more so. But we’re always confident going into any game. We do lose a bit without the three guys who are missing, but those coming in are more than capable.”
Third grade skipper Jason Beasley takes his place in the middle order, while firebrand Jono Warren and Andrew Rutledge bolster the Warriors already bursting bowling stocks.
“We are absolutely one or two bowlers heavy, but I’d like to think there is method in the madness,” Findlay said.
“Jackson Coote will bat six, Ben Findlay at seven. Giving them time in the middle before 80-over, semi-final cricket is pretty important. Lincoln Duncan will open with me, and everyone knows how good he can be.
“Rutter can bat, as can Jono. We’re light on specialist batsmen, but our order remains fairly deep.
“We’re very confident.”
If Wade Park is effected by rain, a decision will be made on play this morning.