Mitchell Cricket Council kicks off its Western Zone Inter-Council junior campaigns this weekend, and while there’s a handful of Orange stars named the under-12, under-14 and under-16 outfits are all, unsurprisingly, stacked with Bathurst talent.
All three sides head to Cowra to face Lachlan on Sunday, and the under 16s will be up for a big test against a side that crushed Macquarie in their opening round game last weekend, winning by 92 runs.
However, with the likes of Bathurst’s Hamish Siegert, Ethan Muller, Cooper Brien, Liam Cooke, Tom Lynch and Jacob Ryan in the Mitchell team there’s no shortage of top level talent to call upon.
Coach Clint Bryant believes his side will need their best cricket to come home with a victory
“They’ll be a bit of an unknown, Lachlan. We’ll be missing three of the best players from our side – (Orange’s) Blake Weymouth, Hugh Middleton and (Mudgee’s) Lachie Endacott because they’re all playing for the [NSW Combined High Schools] side,” he said.
“We have a side that can win this week but we’re not really sure who Lachlan are going to bring either.”
Several of those Bathurst players will look to carry over their form from a win over Mitchell East last Sunday.
Brien hit an unbeaten century while Muller, lynch and Ryan were big threats with the ball.
“Obviously at the top of the order we’ll be looking for Cooper to continue on with the way he’s been going,” Bryant said.
“We’re a little short at the moment in batting depth. We’re hoping Cooper and Hamish can get going a bit.
“Our bowling attack is pretty strong with Hughie McIntyre, Harry McGregor from Orange and Jacob Ryan.”
Macquarie accounted for Lachlan in the opening round of under 12s but that won’t be any reason for the Mitchell team to take their opponents lightly.
It’s a different story for the Lachlan 14s who will play Mitchell after a heart stopping one-wicket win in the opening round.
Mitchell are not defending champions across any age groups this season. The 14s didn’t get to play in an abandoned grand final while the 12s went down to Macquarie.