CITY Colts and ORC will face off for the first time this Bathurst District Cricket Association season at Loco Oval this Saturday.
Rain got in the way of the two previous scheduled fixtures between the two clubs but now they have the chance to test their skills against one another at a crucial point of the season.
There’s just four rounds remaining in competition and both Colts and Tigers want to climb higher.
They may sit at different ends of the table, at second and fifth, but the competition is so close that ORC can catch up with Colts if they snare an outright win.
Colts captain Matt Stephen said a one-day or Twenty20 meeting with the Tigers would have been an exciting occasion but he’s prepared for an equally intriguing longer match.
“It’s pretty cramped up there. It’s great to see a close competition but it’s a pity we missed out on the Twenty20 games,” he said.
“ORC have Wayne and Dave Sellers and Trent Fitzpatrick all firing. It would have been great to meet them in a T20.
“We get on really well with the team and no matter what happens it’s going to be a good game.”
However, those two opportunities have gone and instead the teams will be putting their patience with bat and ball to the test.
Runs aren’t exactly difficult to come by at Loco Oval, which puts plenty of emphasis on finding the right areas with the ball.
Since it’s tempting to constantly search for the short boundaries Stephen believes good temperament with the bat will decide the good.
“The team who controls things with the bat better will win this one. I think it’s no secret that we’re both better suited to one-day and Twenty20 games,” he said.
“We’ve got a good bowling lineup this week, which is great, but we’ve got to be on with the bat.
“The boys are very keen. Everyone’s been wanting to have a hit over the break so it will good to get out there.”
It’s an important game for each club, for different reasons.
ORC have a small three point buffer over a Rugby Union team who are just as hungry to jump inside the top four.
If the Tigers can keep bringing the level of cricket which saw them topple Bulldogs and Centennials in back-to-back rounds then they could find themselves towards the top of the table in little time.
Colts remain on a high from their big win over Centennials in the previous round but they have no chance at all to breathe easy with Bathurst City just half a point away.
Colts are attempting to keep a strong run of form going against the Tigers.
They’ve lost just one of their last six games against ORC over the past five seasons.