TODAY'S action might only mark the beginning of round two of the Orange District Cricket Association season, but both CYMS and Centrals will be desperate to open their respective accounts.
Both sides were hotly tipped to be at the pointy end of the first grade ladder throughout the 2012-13 summer, given Centrals are the two-time defending premiers and CYMS recruited arguably better than any side has in the last five years.
But last weekend proved cricket is a game won on anything but paper.
Centrals lost by seven wickets to a Matt Findlay-inspired Orange City and CYMS tasted defeat against Cavaliers, with the green and golds’ total of 7-162 proving anything but enough for Stu Middleton and company.
Both were far from ideal starts, for CYMS and Centrals anyway.
And although the stakes are far from dire at the moment, a win today at Riawena Oval for either side will be a welcome one.
“We’re quietly confident,” CYMS stand-in skipper Dave Neil said.
“Obviously the first-up loss to Cavs wasn’t what we wanted, but there were still some positive signs.”
Centrals will be somewhat understrength for the clash, missing openers Mick Walker and Nick Dunlop from their round one side.
CYMS will too be missing a key bat with regular skipper Trent Colley leading Mitchell in the Western Zone trials at Wade Park.
CYMS, though, will be boosted by the addition of one of the competition's premier bowlers.
“Al Dhatt’s return for us is massive,” Neil said.
“The control he will give us in those middle overs is something we lacked in the first game and should see us able to tighten the screws when we need to.
“Trent and Deano [Dean Turner] being out hits our batting pretty hard, but Luke Clarke is back for us and he and Nick Wright are both coming off decent knocks for Orange in the President’s Cup, so there’s runs in our top order.”
Centrals will welcome back all-rounder Jarrod Simpson for today's game at Riawena Oval, with the former Western Zone star set to play a leading role if the defending champs are to record their first win.
Today's game begins at 1pm.