Although Cavaliers probably enjoyed the better of Saturday’s opening day at Country Club Oval, the maroons’ Orange District Cricket Association clash with CYMS still remains firmly in the balance, especially considering the changes the latter side will make heading into day two.
After Cavaliers posted 224 – thanks largely to Hugh Middleton’s innings-best 46 from number eight – CYMS finished the day 1-10 in reply but with at least 80 overs left and a handful of gun bats returning to the side next week, it’d take a brave person to confidently predict a winner.
Mick Hannelly, Tom West, Sam Dwyer and former Western Zone rep Dave Neil all come in next week to give the green and golds a substantial boost, although Matt Baker will miss the second day and potentially plenty of cricket after that too, after badly dislocating his shoulder on Saturday.
“It was a pretty gruesome dislocation actually, he dived for a ball in the field and it popped out, he was in a lot of pain but he’s had it put back in. I’m not sure he’ll make it back this season though, which is unfortunate,” CYMS skipper Hamish Finlayson, who will miss day two along with Pete Gott, Gus Wilson and Grant Koch, said.
“I was actually pretty pleased though, and I’m pretty confident we can get the job done next week considering the guys we have coming in.
“Someone like Dave Neil always looks in good touch whether he’s been training and playing or not and Micky is our leading run-scorer, so there’s a lot of batting there, it’ll just be about staying relaxed, not putting too much pressure on ourselves and working our way into it.
“A good start will be really important, but we do have all day to chase those runs.
“It was a good day, it’s very much in the balance so it should be a good finish next week.”
Although Cavaliers, particularly Josh Doherty, have been in stunning form with the bat and Country Club has been somewhat of a road recently, Finlayson inserted the maroons after winning the toss.
“We have a few bowlers out next week and even though it was a pretty flat deck, I think we were always going to look at bowling first,” Finlayson said.
That decision paid off early as Kaleb Cook (18) fell to Finlayson with the score at 25.
CYMS’ skipper also picked up the wickets of his Cavaliers counterpart Matt Corben (16) and Chris Brown (6) during an excellent spell which netted him 3-16 from 11 overs, four were maidens.
The maroons did score steadily through that period though and were 3-74 after Brown was caught, with Doherty (44) continuing his good form after smashing 192 the week prior.
But then he and Hudson Izzard (13) were both run out and Wes Lummis was trapped in front by Gott (1-36), leaving the maroons precariously sitting at 6-128, through 48 overs.
The job of resurrecting the innings fell on the young shoulders of Middleton and Bailey Ferguson (37) and the duo combined for a composed, 79-run, seventh-wicket stand to push their side above 200, with Brad Wright adding a valuable 16 at the end too.
I’m pretty confident we can get the job done next week considering the guys we have coming in.CYMS skipper Hamish Finlayson
“We were high energy in the field the whole time and our effort was good all-round, but young Hughy and Bailey batted really, really well,” Finlayson said.
“They were in a bit of strife when they came together and if they hadn’t played so well Cavaliers would’ve been in a lot more trouble, I think we were all very impressed with them.”
Outside Finlayson, Mitch Winslade (2-24) was CYMS’ best bowler while Ben McAlpine (1-32) and Andrew Henry (1-26) also picked up wickets.
Henry remains not out the crease as well, on 15, with Jarrod Urza (6 not out).
Tom Belmonte (1) is the only wicket to have fallen, he was trapped in front by Doherty (1-17) in the first over of the chase.