Missing players, sure, but that's no worries for powerhouse CYMS: Koch

STAND-IN SKIPPER: Matt Baker will take the reins in CYMS' Royal Hotel Cup opener against Lithgow on Friday night. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

STAND-IN SKIPPER: Matt Baker will take the reins in CYMS' Royal Hotel Cup opener against Lithgow on Friday night. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

Hard-hitting CYMS batsman Grant Koch says his side is entering its first Royal Hotel Cup clash of the summer – against Lithgow on Friday night – with added hunger after disappointingly being eliminated from last season’s title race thanks to multiple washed out semi-finals.

The green and golds claimed the 2014-15 Twenty20 title and were labelled short-priced favourites early last summer, but bowed out after their penultimate clash with Centrals was washed out not once, but twice.

“There is a bit of added motivation there considering we missed out last year, for sure,” Koch said.

“In saying that you always want to win every game you play, but it was disappointing so it gives the guys a bit more hunger I think.

“We don’t know much about Lithgow, they didn’t play last year and missed the semi-finals the year before so we haven’t played them.

“A few guys might know a couple from representative stuff, but we’re flying blind a bit so we’ll take it as it comes.”

Taking it as it comes might not be all that simple for Koch and his crew though, considering CYMS will enter the clash understrength and the Lightning are in red-hot form after demolishing Kinross by 10 wickets a few weeks ago.

“We are a bit short, we’re missing (regular skipper) Hamish Finlayson and (two-time grand final hero) Hugh Le Lievre but we’ve still got a very handy side,” Koch said.

“Michael Delaney is back as our marquee so he’ll be very handy for us and Matty Baker is taking over the captaincy, which is great for him.

“He’s been around the club forever so he really deserves his chance.”

Koch said his side isn’t under any illusions either, the green and golds know just how important a win over the Lightning would be in the big scheme.

CYMS have been pooled with competition newcomers Bathurst City as well as Lithgow and Kinross.

Redbacks have firmed among the title favourites, considering the side they’re fielding and the thumping they handed the students last week.

When CYMS and Redbacks meet it will be a clash of Orange’s best versus Bathurst’s best, in a sure-fire battle royale.

“We don’t know much about Bathurst City either to be fair, except they’re a strong side,” Koch said.

“But with only three pool games, considering we play Lithgow then Bathurst City, a win in this first one is very important.”

Star lower grader Gavin Bridge comes into CYMS’ side, for his first taste of the top grade after averaging 232 in from his first three digs in second grade.

Friday night’s massive fixture kicks off at 6.30pm at Wade Park.

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