City face Cavs with big hopes for new season

READY TO GO: Craig Rogan is set to lead Orange City for the first time in the opening game of the new season. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

READY TO GO: Craig Rogan is set to lead Orange City for the first time in the opening game of the new season. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

When the umpire signals play at Country Club Oval on Saturday afternoon more than a few cricketers will breathe a sigh of relief.

Only a couple of weeks ago as heavy rain lashed Orange it seemed the only way cricket could take place was if Noah climbed off the Ark and opened the bowling.

New Orange City captain Craig Rogan has been eagerly awaiting a start with some bright prospects for a big year.

“We’ve had a pretty decent pre-season, considering the weather we had,” he said. 

“We’ve had a chance to blow the cobwebs out. It’s good to be finally getting on the paddock and have a game.”

The club has recruited bowling all-rounder Brad Johnson from Dubbo and classy ex-Gladstone batsman Tim Lowe while Nathan Rosser is returning. Rogan said they should bring more balance to a team that has relied on bowling over batting before.

“I am excited to be captaining a great side like Orange City. Absolutely, on paper we’ve got a very strong side. I think both batting and bowling will be quite strong.”

Rogan said they still had room for improvement with Lowe missing this week and Jackson Coote and Andrew Rutledge still out injured.

Cavs come into the season keen to brush aside the disappointment of seven months ago when they collapsed for just 68 to lose the grand final to CYMS.

Captain Richie Venner said: "We've got a lot of the same guys that played last season.”

“Josh (Doherty) will be back and John (Warrington) will be back in November. Those guys are a year older now and that will benefit the team," Venner said.

In a season of change where there will be just five teams in first grade and a new format for two-day games to ensure both teams bat on the first day, Saturday’s opening round retains the traditional one-day format of 40 overs each.

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