After beautiful debut performances against the Blue Mountains in late November, Kinross duo Fletcher Rose and Lance Hearn have earned another chance to impress in a baggy blue cap of Orange on Sunday against Bathurst.
Rose knocked up 21 against the Cattle Dogs to help salvage Orange’s innings after a mini-collapse and bowled well without luck while Hearn was undeniably the Bluebaggers’ player-of-the-game, snaring 2-25 with his leg spinners in an unchanged 10-over spell.
“They did a great job against the Blue Mountains so they were obviously going to keep their places, it’s great to see them get another chance, they’re two guys who should play a lot of representative cricket in a blue cap,” Orange coach Dave Boundy said, before conceding he and selectors once again had a tough time picking the side.
“We have a lot of guys unavailable again, there’s no point keeping it a secret. But, and this is really positive, everyone we contacted really wanted to play but couldn’t because of various reasons like work or holidays.
“That’s not to say we aren’t happy with the side we’re fielding, it’s a strong side and we’ll back them 100 per cent.”
Centrals’ skipper Daryl Kennewell once again takes the reins while former Orange and Mitchell Cricket Council captain Richie Venner and CYMS’ grand final hero Hugh Le Lievre will add some valuable experience.
Orange City opening bat Ben Findlay gets his chance after a solid start to the season, with Josh Doherty, Matt Corben, Tom Aggett, Scott Kennedy and Jack Dodds all earning a call-up too.
“A lot of those guys will benefit a lot from playing alongside the likes of Richie and Hughy,” Boundy said.
“That’s one thing we’re trying to focus on a little bit is continuing to develop these guys at this level, having those more experienced heads around will lift the side too.”
There is a small chance Orange can sneak into the President’s Cup final should they trump Bathurst on Sunday.
“A small chance, a win would be a great result,” Boundy said.
“The thing is being realistic. Do we want to win these trophies, absolutely, and we’ll do everything we can to win them but should we be aiming to win them?
“This might sound harsh, but maybe not. Focusing on playing good, hard, Orange cricket and continuing to develop these younger guys while bringing pride back into that Orange cap is the main priority.
“But if we do that, the results will come sooner rather than later I think.”
However, Orange probably hasn’t had as good a chance to beat Bathurst in some time. Captain Jameel Qureshi, Matt Stephen, Ben Orme, Aaron Seymour, Derryn Clayton and Dan Casey are all unavailable.
“Alll the better for us,” Boundy said, before reflecting on the last time the Bluebaggers trumped Bathurst.
That was in 2013, when the then Matt Findlay-led Orange side upset a full-strength Bathurst unit on its home turf.
“Those upsets can happen, so as I said if we focus on playing well and doing the basics well, we’re always a chance,” Boundy said.
Sunday’s game kicks off at 10am, at Bathurst Sportsground.
ORANGE: Daryl Kennewell ©, Ben Findlay, Matt Corben, Richie Venner, Hugh Le Lievre, Josh Doherty, Tom Aggett, Jack Dodds, Scott Kennedy, Fletcher Rose, Lance Hearn