They may have been a bit rusty with ball in hand, but Orange District Junior Cricket Association still recorded the best start possible in their Mitchell Cricket Council Under-12 campaign-opener against Mudgee on Sunday.
On the road, the youngsters picked up a mammoth 10-wicket win on the back of Taj Jordan (73 not out) and Toby Middleton's (53 not out) unbeaten opening stand, the pair running down their target of 149 in just the 18th over.
Jordan whacked 10 boundaries in his unbeaten half-ton as he was able to trust the consistent bounce on the Glen Willow Sporting Complex's synthetic wicket, freeing his arms as Middleton picked the gaps for more singles and twos.
The chase backed up an effort Orange mentor Stu Middleton jokingly labelled a 'coach-killer', the black and golds only allowed Mudgee 90 runs off the bat but also conceded almost 60 extras, 29 of which were wides.
"Most of it was wides and byes which wasn't great but it was out first game of the season," he said.
Jack Connolly did most of the damage with 3-26 while both opening batters also tallied their names in the wickets column, snaring one apiece alongside leggie Lachie Boyd.
Middleton mentioned both Tom Morris and opening speedster Hayden Griffith were both unlucky not to claim scalps, but he backed the duo in - and the rest of the bowling attack - to go to the next level against Blue Mountains this weekend with a game under their belt.
"We've got a few things to work on, backing up to stop overthrows is another one," Middleton said.
"The longer games are a bit more difficult for these guys, they're used to 25 overs on a Saturday and this is 40."
Orange's next game is this Sunday against Blue Mountains at Jack Brabham Park from 10am.
Meanwhile, an under-strength Orange side was unable to track down Bathurst's big total in the latest round of Western Zone Cricket as Bathurst's under 16s proved too good for Orange on Sunday, winning by 124 runs.
In their opening clash after their round one bye, Orange weren't able to put runs on the board, making just 86.
Played at George Park 1, Bathurst won the toss and elected to bat first and posted a score of 210.
Orange's chase would eventually fall way short of Bathurst's, being dismissed for 86 off 24 overs.
Bathurst coach Clint Bryant said it was an impressive performance from his team.
"It was pretty good once we won the toss and the plan was to have them bat first on one of the best batting decks on Bathurst," he said.
"So we set them a pretty big total of 210, but Orange were a bit under-strength, missing a few of their key players.
"Our bowling attack managed to do the job, getting through them pretty cheaply, finishing them off at the end."
Justin Stephenson took 4-21 for the best figures for Bathurst with the ball, while Tom Lynch hit a high of 45 not out for the hosts.
Captain Blake Kreuzberger hit 41 with the bat too, and Cooper Brien picked up 35 runs in a dominant batting display.
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