CAVALIERS have claimed the Orange District Cricket Association first grade minor premiership following a convincing five-wicket first-innings win over CYMS at Wade Park on the weekend.
Set 121 to win by the green and golds, a crucial sixth-wicket stand of 70 between Tom Aggett (35) and Stu Middleton (44) guided the maroons to the minor title.
Cavs skipper Richie Venner was more than happy his team had finished the 2013-14 regular season on top of the ladder, but, ahead of a shot-gun, two-week finals series set to decide this year's champion, had this warning for the rest of the competition.
"We're nowhere near our best," Venner said.
"We've had a couple of chats together as a group to look at what we need to improve on.
"I think a lot of the teams at the moment are struggling with the batting in two-day cricket. Everyone is pretty even with the ball but it's going to come down to whoever bats the best."
Winning the toss and batting, CYMS found themselves immediately on the back foot after Middleton (2-18) and Chris Martin (2-30) removed both green and gold openers with the score on six.
First drop Matt Baker (33) held CYMS' innings together and if it weren't for young debutant Tom Belmonte (17) and tailender Chris Novak (23 not out), the green and golds' first innings total of 121 would have been far less.
Brad Wright was the pick of the Cavs' bowlers, with the tweaker nabbing 3-15 off eight overs.
Job with the ball done, it was then up to Cavaliers' batters.
Venner (33) and Matt Death (27) got their side off to a decent start, guiding the opening stand past 50 before CYMS spin king Al Dhatt scalped both.
Finishing the match with 5-30, Dhatt also picked up Luke Wilson and Josh Doherty - both for ducks - and Matt Corben (14).
But Middleton and Aggett steadied the ship to help Cavs post 191 and negate any chance CYMS had of attempting an outright victory and an unlikely tilt at the minor premiership.
Venner said the intent of Middleton and the determination of Aggett was the difference.
"The wicket was tough all weekend," he said.
"It was sticky and there was a bit of movement out there. They got the job done."