CITY Colts will start a new Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade season in familiar territory when they play host to Centennials Bulls at Loco Oval.
Colts begin their quest for a fourth BDCA first grade title this Saturday, as they aiming to go one match further than they did last season.
It’s a tricky opener for Colts who are taking part in a rematch of the minor semi-final against Centennials Bulls.
The task is made tougher for the Colts who have taken a couple of hits in the player department.
“Unfortunately we’ve lost Craig Hanrahan this year. Henry Allen is not always going to be available due to work. Those two losses hurt our bowling stocks,” Colts’ Daniel Casey said.
“There’s still some very handy all-rounders in the team, like Henry Shoemark and Tony Clancy, that we’ll probably get a few more overs out of.
“We’ve got Stevo [Matt Stephen] playing. He played against Dubbo the other day and I’m not sure how he pulled up. He said he’ll start the year bowling and see how he goes.”
Stephen’s fitness will be a big factor in how lethal the Colts’ bowling attack will look this season.
His figures of 3-33 as opening bowler for Bathurst in their Western Zone Premier League loss to Dubbo bodes well for the first round BDCA clash.
Shoemark also stood tall in the WZPL fixture last weekend as he smashed his way to 93 runs.
The top order threat is no stranger to scoring runs against Bulls either.
His 79 against Centennials last season single-handedly saved Colts in their one-day meeting.
Casey himself will look for a batting performance similar to that of his innings in the minor semi-final, where his 140 steered Colts to the preliminary final.
However, it’s a new season and a fresh slate for both clubs.
“It would be great to get off to a good start,” Casey said.
“Centennials have a couple of really strong players in Tooley [Josh Toole] and Aaron Seymour. It will be tough for them without Mick Curtale, so the key for us is getting those two out quickly.”
Colts know all too well what Toole and Seymour can do.
The dangerous duo put on 103 between them to help Bulls win the last regular season two-day match against Colts.
Toole also finished with the highest score (179) last season.
Colts won three of their five matches played at Loco Oval last season.
Casey is looking forward to starting a new season at home.
“Loco is looking really good at the moment,” he said.
“We’ve extended the wicket too, but that won’t be ready until the end of the season.”
There is one other change unfolding at Colts.
Casey, who has remained club president this season, is handing over the first grade captaincy.
“We’ve gone from having one junior team, to having two, to now having five this season. I’ll be focusing on that a bit more this year,” he said.
“I’d say at this stage Stevo or Pat Hill will take over the captaincy, which we’ll decide over this week.”
The action at Loco Oval starts from 1.30pm.
Centennials have a couple of really strong players in Josh Toole and Aaron Seymour ... so the key for us is getting those two out quickly.Daniel Casey