AFTER narrowly missing the previous Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade finals series there’s no shortage of motivation for St Pat’s Old Boys to aim high in a new season.
St Pat’s start their season this Saturday with a fixture against 2016-17 grand finalists Rugby Union Cricket Club at Brooke Moore Oval.
The match up is a jump into the deep end for a youthful Pat’s team, who are out to prove they’ve learnt from last season’s mistakes.
Number one on the list of things to fix for Pat’s is hitting the ground running for the one-day series.
It took St Pat’s eight rounds to win their first match last season.
That slow start was the reason Pat’s missed the top four in 2016-17, but captain Adam Ryan is confident his team will have shaken off all the rust for game one of the new season.
“There’s a lot of confidence for us to take away from that finish last season, and a lot of our juniors have already taken it into their representative season,” he said.
“The club is in a really strong position at the moment. We’ve got our first grade side and two teams entered again in second grade. The good thing is that there’s a lot of raw talent that’s really progressed well through the grades.
“It’s a very committed team. The morale is really high for the new season.
“It’s pretty much the same team as the one we had last year. The only uncertainty at the moment is whether Derryn Clayton will be back, though he will definitely be away for this first game.”
Saints will instead hunt for the cricket that kept them unbeaten over the last four rounds of 2016-17.
Pat’s are a side overflowing with some of the city’s top junior talent.
Whether it be with bat or ball, there’s a Saints player 18 or under who will be more than capable of matching it with senior opponents.
“It’s great to see the juniors develop. It’s now about converting that talent into results,” he said.
“We’re different from a lot of the other teams that have standout adult players with a few juniors. In this first game I’m pretty sure it’s just Matt Fearnley and myself and the rest of the team are all under 20.
“Nic Broes is opening the batting. He’s become a solid opener and had progressed in maturity. Connor Slattery is back from an injury.
“We have Ben Parsons as a bowler, though I’m inclined to believe he’s an all-rounder. With Ben Mitchell and Tanvir Singh the three of them add a lot of punch to our middle order.
“Sam Hall gets a crack at ’keeper and he’s been very impressive with the bat in our trials.”
There’s a lot of confidence for us to take away from that finish last season.Adam Ryan