After a promising representative campaign last summer Orange skipper Daryl Kennewell wants his Bluebaggers to keep building in 2018-19, and he’s set his eyes firmly on the Mitchell Cricket Council President’s Cup as the top priority.
The Bluebaggers picked up a couple of victories last summer including a drought-breaking win over Parkes, but Mitchell’s most prestigious crown – which Orange had a mortgage on through the late noughties – eluded Kennewell and his troops, has done since 2009-10.
It was a frustrating loss to the Blue Mountains that proved the final nail in Orange’s coffin last season, so it’s quite fitting the Bluebaggers host the Cattle Dogs in the opening game of their campaign for redemption this year.
“I think the President’s Cup has to be our main goal, we missed the final last year and it was frustrating, we’d like to get our foot back in that door,” Kennewell said, adding he’s not sacrificing his hope of a Western Zone Premier League title at all.
“Sides like Bathurst have had the wood on us a bit in the last couple of years, but we did win the (Mitchell) Twenty20 Cup the season before last so we just want to keep on building, working our way back to the top of Mitchell I guess.”
Kennewell will have a 17-man squad at his disposal this summer – as a start, he said there’s always a chance for well-performed players to force their way in – and although not all of his stars are available on Sunday, one name jumps from the page.
Orange City gun Shaun Grenfell’s representative hiatus appears to be over, he’s been named on Sunday and Kennewell says he expects him to be on deck on summer.
Grenfell did play in that Mitchell Twenty20 Cup win, but hasn’t donned the baggy blue in the longer form of the game for many years.
I think the President’s Cup has to be our main goal, we missed the final last year and it was frustrating.Orange skipper Daryl Kennewell
“It’s good to have him back, I’m hopeful he’ll be around all summer for us,” Kennewell said.
“Grenners will really give our batting order a huge boost, he’s scored runs in Orange for as long as I can remember, which is good.
“With guys like him, [Josh Doherty] and [Matt Corben], we’re reasonably strong through that top order and I’ve got no worries about our bowling attack.
“It’s the same as last year in the message I’d send, I’m always confident in the players we pick when they want to be there playing, that’s my big thing is always having guys in the side that want to be playing for Orange.
“We won’t be taking the Blue Mountains lightly but to be honest I don’t know anything about them, I’m feeling fairly confident though.”
He admitted having last weekend’s first round of the regular Orange District Cricket Association season wasn’t ideal in terms of preparation, but is sure Saturday’s second round will help his side “get their eyes in”.
“It wasn’t ideal, no, but we’ve got some cricket this weekend,” Kennewell said.
"There’s a few of us Centrals boys who will play Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the Royal Hotel Cup too, so hopefully we’ll have our eyes in by the time Sunday’s game rolls around.
“This one, I think, will be a good judge of where we’re at, and where we can build to.”
Orange hosts the Blue Mountains from 10am at Wade Park on Sunday.
- ORANGE: Matt Corben, Ryan Kurtz, Josh Doherty, Shaun Grenfell, Lachlan Coyte, Jack Dodds, Bailey Ferguson, Mitch Black, Daryl Kennewell ©, Jackson Coote (vc), Zac Reimer, Cam Rasmussen