Delaney and Curtale: Two of the biggest names in Royal Hotel Cup cricket went head to head on Friday night, bringing fireworks to Wade Park as CYMS cemented an unbeaten season by vanquishing Orange City.
If there was any doubt CYMS opener Delaney is on another level when it came to Twenty20 cricket, it's now gone after the maestro backed up his 111 last start with a 95 in his final home-and-away game.
His 52-ball innings propelled CYMS to 4-180, which proved enough for the side to notch their fourth consecutive Royal Hotel Cup win and lock up top spot on the table heading into next month's finals.
Delaney whacked 11 boundaries and four sixes as he sent the Warriors' attack to all corners of Wade Park, with Sam Dwyer (23 off 16), Angus Le Lievre (21 off 16) and Dave Neil (25 not out off 22) also pitching in with runs.
Only Brett Causer went for less than a run a ball for City, with Delaney sending two Mick Curtale overs for 29 runs as the side soared to their total.
But Curtale, in just his second game of the season, showed why he's so feared by bowling attacks in the Central West as the Cowra opener walloped 66 from 44.
After Shaun Grenfell was dismissed by Al Dhatt for an 11-ball 16, Curtale and Lachie Coyte (38 from 30) put together a 91-run stand to bring the Warriors to 1-119, but when Coyte fell and Curtale nine runs after him, the Warriors fell apart.
The side lost 6-50 as Dhatt (3-20) turned the screws, with pressure in the field bringing about two run outs - one of Curtale at the hand of Tom West and Warriors skipper Ed Morrish dismissed off the arm of Dave Neil.
(He's) very switched on, he has an innate ability to attack and he knows when to make the bowlers come to him.Hugh Le Lievre talking about Mick Delaney
CYMS skipper Hugh Le Lievre said the "destructive" duo's effort at the top of the order helped set the game up.
"Michael is an accomplished player and he's performed in professional set-ups and brings a wealth of experience back," he said.
"(He's) very switched on, he has an innate ability to attack and he knows when to make the bowlers come to him.
While Dwyer didn't go big on Friday, Le Lievre said his brutal strike rate "really puts the opposition on the back foot".
Le Lievre was most happy with his side's efforts in the field and with ball in, which hand tipped the game into his side's favour after the Warriors' fast start - for which he gave praise to Curtale and Coyte.
He said spin played a big part in CYMS' win, with the three green and gold tweakers in Al Dhatt, Chris Novak (0-29) and Delaney (1-25) bowling 12 overs between them.
"In the past when Al was our only spinner he was easier to target. We were able to get 12 overs out of them where City had more of a seam set-up, and I think it was a bit easier to hit the seam on Friday," Le Lievre said.
Cementing the unbeaten run was a nice feeling for Le Lievre, but he acknowledged "it doesn't count for anything now, we have to start again".
"We've had a hard draw with Pat's Centennials and Orange City so it's been a really good team performance," he said.
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