Warriors shot to bounce back comes against Redbacks looking to prove point

KA-BOOM: Orange City tail-ender Ed Morrish goes bang in a cameo in last summer's Royal Hotel Cup final. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
KA-BOOM: Orange City tail-ender Ed Morrish goes bang in a cameo in last summer's Royal Hotel Cup final. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

After posting 144 with the bat and then returning to the field and rattling their opposition at 2-2, the 2016-17 Royal Hotel Cup should have been Orange City’s.

Incredibly, it’s not.

The Lithgow Lightning, on the back of a premiership-winning, 134-run third wicket partnership from Todd Costello and Dallas Tilley, took out last summer’s Orange District Cricket Association Twenty20 tournament.

But the Warriors don’t have long to right the wrongs of last summer.

Orange City takes on Bathurst City in the opening Royal Hotel Cup clash of the 2017-18 season on Friday night at Wade Park.

The Redbacks, too, have a point to prove.

The Bathurst District Cricket Association big guns entered last summer’s Royal Hotel Cup as one of the favourites to take out the crown.

But failed to make the semi-finals, losing a winable final round clash with Lithgow to bow out in the group stages of the tournament. 

In total, the Redbacks won one of three games last season, but skipper Matt Willis said he and his team-mates have learned from that.

“We played Bonnor Cup last year as well and I thought we were just a little bit behind the eight-ball with how to play that game, there’s a little bit more that goes into it than just whacking fours and sixes,” he said.

“I thought the Orange teams set really clever fields and they ran really well between wickets, which was something we didn’t do against them.”

One thing Redbacks have done this time around to help their chances is recruit Rugby Union skipper Sam Macpherson as a marquee player.

Willis saw firsthand last season the value of having such a player in a Bonnor Cup squad.

“We played against CYMS last year and they beat us by eight runs and we didn’t have Ormey [Ben Orme] or Hemsy [Trent Hemsworth] and they had Michael Delaney playing for them, who is a great cricketer from Canberra,” he said.

“So we thought, let’s do this properly, get in a marquee player and have a good crack at it. So Sam Macpherson has come on board and we’ll see how it goes.

“Having Sammy as our marquee player, he’ll come into our team and give us a bit of punch as well because he hits it hard and can hit weird spots as well.

“We are actually looking pretty good this year. We play on Friday and we’ve got everyone available and that’s something we didn’t have last year, we never had our full side available and it showed with a couple of our results.” 

Bathurst City Redbacks will meet Orange City on Friday night at Wade Park from 6.30pm.