CAVALIERS captain Richie Venner said starting the Orange District Cricket Association first grade season with a win on Saturday was key for his side.
Cavaliers scored a three-wicket win over CYMS at Wade Park in the season opener.
CYMS batted first and finished their overs at 7-159.
Half-centuries from opener Stuart Middleton (71) and No.4 Chris Martin (54) helped Cavaliers to 4-162 and the win.
“The win is probably bigger for us than everyone else because we have the bye after the general bye,” Venner explained.
“If you have a loss first up and then two byes, you could be a long way behind. So the win was important.”
CYMS had a reasonable start with the bat and were 1-43 after 12 overs.
Then Martin took the scalps of Trent Colley (27), Nick Wright (3) and Dean Turner (0) in what was an unlucky 13th over for CYMS to have them at 4-44.
Dave Neil (43) and Josh Sands (40) were able to put on 53 for the fifth wicket and CYMS batted out their overs to finish at 7-159.
Martin finished with figures of 4-44 while young quick Liam Gough claimed 3-20 off his eight overs.
Cavaliers then picked up the bat and Middleton’s 71, which included 13 fours, combined with his 62-run partnership with Martin, helped Cavaliers to the winning total in the 29th over with six wickets to spare.
Ed Morrish (1-13), Josh Sands (1-11), Pat Madden (1-18) and Hamish Finlayson (1-21) took a wicket each.
Venner said Martin was an obvious standout for Cavaliers in their first game.
“He bowled really well,” Venner said.
“Then with the bat, he has a lot bigger role this year and he stepped up and took it.”
The Cavaliers said the side did what they wanted to do with the bat by scoring in partnerships.
Being the start of the season, there are always things they can improve on.
“We didn’t shut their innings down the way we should have,” Venner said.
“We gifted them some runs. In saying that, their guys batted well for that.”
CYMS captain Trent Colley said it was disappointing to lose after a reasonable start.
“We were travelling all right but then we lost three wickets in an over and that took us from 1-40-odd to 4-40-odd,” Colley said.
“The boys went well at the end. Dave Neil and Josh Sands batted well and got us to a total we could defend.”
“Then Stu (Middleton) came out and did what Stu does and hit boundaries and got off to a good start.”
Colley said his side bowled well in patches and he was impressed with Pat Madden and Hamish Finlayson.
The ODCA first grade competition will have a general bye this weekend for the President’s Cup tournament in Bathurst.