Dave Boundy, Craig Rogan, Stu Naden, Lachie Coyte, Harry McGregor and Jackson Coote.
They’re not the headliners of Orange City’s team list for Friday night’s blockbuster Royal Hotel Cup clash against competition heavyweights St Pat’s Old Boys.
They’re the unavailables.
It’s a long list that would hamper them against any side, let alone against the powerful, unbeaten Bathurst-based side.
Boundy and Naden are unavailable, Coyte and McGregor are with Orange’s under-16 side in New Zealand while Rogan and Coote are both battling back issues, the fact the clash leads into the Australia Day weekend hasn’t helped.
Together they combine for more than half of the first-choice line-up the Warriors have run with in their opening two games of Orange District Cricket Association’s Twenty20 tournament.
Skipper Ed Morrish, who’s battling a shoulder niggle himself, admits he’s been forced to dig deep in his search for reinforcements, to the point he’s still yet to name a 12th player for the clash.
Jeremy Bartier, Troy O’Keeffe and ex-Western Suburbs medium-pacer Andrew Gordon all come in for their first T20 game of 2018-19, with former skipper Matt Findlay also filling in.
“It’s not ideal, but I’m confident in what the blokes coming in can do,” Morrish said.
“Jeremy’s been doing really well in first grade, Troy’s played plenty of cricket and Flash (Gordon) played in Sydney for a long time, has plenty of experience and has been a good addition to the club so far.
“Findlay’s not played much lately but he was captain when we won it in 2012-13 and knows what he’s doing, he’ll do a job.”
Morrish said the fact his replacements have form on the board is helpful, albeit not form in the shortest format.
Bartier is averaging 34 in his first full season in the top grade, O’Keeffe has been solid with the gloves, Gordon’s coming off an unbeaten half century in second grade last weekend and, across three lower grade digs, Findlay’s punched out 134 runs.
While he’s backing his outfit, which still includes powerful bat Shaun Grenfell, spicy quick Brett Causer and wily tweaker Josh Cheney, Morrish admitted he’s under no illusions as to how big a task the Warriors face.
Despite being unbeaten, City has only played cellar-dwellers Centrals and Kinross.
“St Pat’s Old Boys will definitely be our biggest test so far, for sure,” Morrish said.
“A few people might have had a question mark on them because they were in the same position as us before last week, but they hammered Lithgow so there’s no doubt they’re the real deal, which is good for them in their first season.
“Maybe they’ve got a few out because of the Australia Day weekend too, maybe not. We’ll go in assuming they’ll be full-strength regardless.”
So how does he plan to beat the Saints, now sitting pretty on top of pool A and guaranteed a semi-final spot?
“Well, it’s more of a wait-and-see thing I think,” he admitted.
“We’ll have our plans but in Twenty20 stuff they’re the simple things you go into every game wanting to do – look to score off every ball, mix up your pace and that sort of thing.
“St Pat’s Old Boys will have their weaknesses like any other team, even if they haven’t really showed them yet, so hopefully we can pick them out and exploit them a bit.
“It’ll be a good challenge and give us an idea of where we’re at, anyway.”
Friday night’s clash kicks off at 7pm at Wade Park.
- ORANGE CITY: Ed Morrish ©, Shaun Grenfell, Jeremy Bartier, Andrew Gordon, Darren Barrett, Brett Causer, Troy O'Keeffe (wk), Matt Findlay, Shaun Kirby, Josh Cheney, TBC
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