JOHN Warrington knows better than most just how heavy the weight of expectation can be.
A CYMS junior who progressed through the club’s senior ranks before debuting in the Orange District Cricket Association top grade in 2011-12, Warrington played 22 first grade games over two seasons with the green and golds.
Batting at the top of the order, two seasons with just one score over 50 meant the pressure to perform continually rose.
But a change of scenery in 2013-14 has brought about a change of attitude and luck, and Warrington’s numbers are beginning to flourish.
Joining premiers Orange City over the winter, Warrington this season notched up his first senior ton, compiling an unbeaten 102 against Waratahs, and currently sits seventh on the ODCA’s leading run-scorers’ list with 340.
That heavy weight they call expectation, it’s now gone.
“It’s been great,” Warrington said of his move to the Warriors.
“It’s the happiest season I’ve had in cricket. It has been brilliant.
“I’ve been looking to score a hundred for five, six years now ... so to do it in my first year at a new club, it’s been really satisfying.”
Now a more focused and more motivated cricketer, Warrington is hoping he can again break the three-figure shackles as Orange City tackles CYMS in the ODCA’s cutthroat semi-final at Riawena Oval.
Naturally a touch more motivated to show his old club what they’re missing, Warrington said he’d just be happy with a win of any kind, as long as City gets into the decider.
“It’ll be a challenge, one I’m looking forward to,” he said.
“Even if I don’t happen to do well ... if we go well I’ll be more than happy. As long as the team wins I’m happy.”
Both CYMS and Orange City suffered final round losses last weekend, hardly ideal preparations for last year’s grand finalists.
Arguably the most consistent team throughout 2013-14, CYMS skipper Hugh Le Leivre said his side was going to have to lift a gear to progress through to another grand final.
“We can’t rely on past performances and certainly both sides lost in their last games so we’ll have to be better than that,” he said, with batting in partnerships and long-term pressure with the ball crucial to CYMS’ success.
“We’ve got a few handy additions in Sam Dwyer and Nick Garton coming back. We’ll have a strong side.”
CYMS take on Orange City from 12.30pm today at Riawena Oval.
Play will resume at 11am tomorrow.