Colts and Redbacks eye off top two finish as finals approach

“IT’S the second last game of the regular season so we really need to be playing at our best.”

City Colts captain Matt Stephen is hopeful his side can bounce back from a last round defeat when they take on competition leaders Bathurst City in a crucial meeting this Saturday.

With less than eight points separating first to fourth in the Bathurst District Cricket Association there’s plenty for both teams to play for at the Sportsground.

Both teams are well in contention for a top two finish and the important guaranteed second chance in the finals that comes with the position.

IMPORTANT FIXTURE: Trent Hemsworth and Bathurst City take on City Colts in this Saturday's Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade match at the Sportsground. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

IMPORTANT FIXTURE: Trent Hemsworth and Bathurst City take on City Colts in this Saturday's Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade match at the Sportsground. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

Redbacks already boast a win in the head to head between the clubs this season, and should they make it two from two then they will have another minor premiership in their sights.

Colts were a shambles with the bat last week against a spirited Rugby Union team who continued their season recovery operation.

Above all, Stephen is craving consistency from his team with the bat in the upcoming meeting with Redbacks.

“We will always back ourselves to do the job with the ball but with the bat we’ve got to stay out in the middle,” he said.

“We need people to stand up. Look at Rodgo [David Rogerson] last week. He came in at 10, with us at 8 for 50 or so and he ended up with 37 not out. When I asked if he wanted to keep the pads on when we got sent back into bat he said ‘sure’. 

“It’s tough for us when we’ve lost Henry [Shoemark] at the top of the order. There’s not many people in Bathurst who enjoy bowling to him. We get Jaden [Ekert] back this week, which will help a lot. He’ll take the gloves and come in at three.”

Redbacks picked up a five wicket victory over Colts earlier in the season with an unbeaten 94.

Stephen said, as always, he’ll be one of the players Colts need to contain.

“You know everyone’s always giving their best on that team, and it only takes one of them to take the game away from you,” he said.

“Look at what Ormey did last week with his eight wickets or John Rudge with his 86 runs. They’re a team full of guys who can do stuff like that.

“It’s very tight in the top four at the moment. About point one or two could be the difference at the end, so every run and wicket here is important.”

Stephen himself is one of those leading the way with the bat for Colts, picking up scores of 93 and 100 not out over his past two matches.

Bathurst City go into Saturday’s game sitting on 48.25 points, leading the way ahead of St Pat’s Old Boys (45.6) and Colts (42.2).