It’s over, after 11 long years the hoodoo is broken.
Orange scored its maiden win of the 2017-18 Western Zone Premier League at Country Club Oval on Sunday, the Bluebaggers crushed Parkes to finally bring their 3,942 day losing streak against the Lachlan Cricket Council heavyweights to an end.
Led by Dean Turner’s hard-hitting 81 Orange posted 227 before rolling Parkes for 187, although the win was far more emphatic than the 40-run margin suggests considering the Bluebaggers conceded 40 extras, 38 of them wides.
“That is far too many sundries, way too many, but I don’t want to nitpick too much because it is such a good win for us,” Orange skipper Daryl Kennewell said.
“It’s a real confidence boost, and being able to break such a long losing streak against them is a positive too, it’s just really pleasing as a skipper.
“I was always confident this group could get the job done in this game, I said before the game I think this group is building to something and that win could be the start.”
After the game was moved from a waterlogged Wade Park to the surprisingly dry Country Club Oval, Kennewell won the toss and batted first.
Mick Hannelly (2) fell early, but Turner and Nick Dunlop (40) added 100 for the second wicket to lay a beautiful foundation for the innings.
Orange lost 5-40 after that, to sit somewhat precariously at 6-153, but determined lower order digs from Gus Cumming (37) and Joel Crosswell (16) pushed the Bluebaggers up to 227.
While that’s a score that will win more games that it’ll lose, the threat of former Western Zone gun and Parkes skipper Anthony Heraghty loomed large.
Averaging more than 80 against Orange since the Bluebaggers’ last win over Parkes in 2007, Heraghty looked capable of another masterclass when he smashed Fletcher Rose’s fourth ball for six to get off the mark.
Then came the big moment, one which Kennewell said gave the side “a massive lift”.
“Ed Morrish (2-39) bowled a back of the length ball which [Heraghty] bottom edged onto the stumps, it was a massive moment,” Kennewell explained, Heraghty managing just 16.
This group is building to something and that win could be the start of that.Orange skipper Daryl Kennewell
“Dean’s innings was a great start for us and did the world of good for the rest of the side and the bowlers bowled well, but that was a massive lift for us early in the field.”
Zach Bayliss compiled a superb 64 from number three, but got little support from his teammates as wickets fell consistently. The next best was Brent Tucker’s 29, from number seven.
Cumming rounded out an excellent individual showing, notching game-best figures of 3-30 to go along with his crucial innings earlier in the day.
The Bluebaggers’ next task is Mudgee, in the second round of Mitchell Cricket Council’s President’s Cup, and Kennewell said his side won’t be resting on its laurels after Sunday’s win.
“Definitely not. That win is great reward for the guys who have been putting in, but we won’t be happy with one win,” he said.
“We’re looking at Mudgee as a game we should win, we want to go two in a row now and it’s really great to see the guys already putting their hands up for that game.
“They want to play, and that’s a massive reason we’re continuing to improve, because we’ve got a great bunch of guys together who want to be representing Orange and want to win for Orange.
“Hats off to them, they got the job done [on Sunday] and I’m confident we will again against Mudgee.”