AFTER going within a win of a long-awaited Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade title there’s a great deal of excitement around the St Pat’s Old Boys camp going into the new season.
Saints will start the 2018-19 season with a grand final rematch against defending champions Rugby Union Cricket Club at The Scots School, sporting bigger aims for the new competition.
Pat’s had an aim to make a breakthrough into the top four last season and went above and beyond.
Now, with a team near identical to that grand final squad, they’ve got their eyes on the big prize.
“We’ve been very lucky in that go to have a team similar to last year. We’ll retain most of our players, and they’ve all had that year of experience and growth so we’re looking forward to the season,” Adam Ryan said, reprising his role as captain.
“We’ll look to some of the guys who were just outside of the first grade picture to step up, like Mitch Taylor, and have a bigger role. Ben Parson won’t have school cricket so we’re looking forward to him playing a bit more.”
Pat’s have minimised their losses in the player department.
Faizan Ali Thaver has moved away to Melbourne while rising BDCA junior representative Sam Hall will prioritise his school cricket over first grade.
The growth of our players was sensational.Adam Ryan
The blue and white are out for revenge against Rugby Union who ended a long title drought of their own in last season’s decider.
Rugby survived a late scare to hold on for victory in a rain-affected finale but Pat’s could still hold their heads high.
Ryan, Matt Fearnley and Brendon Cutmore were the senior heads among a young Saints squad who came ahead leaps and bounds last season.
They’d love to see that growth continue during the opening round clash.
“Last year we were just looking to see if we could make finals but this year we’ve got hopes to go one better. We just have to work hard and see what happens,” Ryan said.
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“It was a funny one, that grand final. Although we lost the match we were still rapt with the performance and the season that we had.
“The growth of our players was sensational. I’m interested to see whether that continues on.
“We had a great grand final against Rugby Union. It was very competitive, much like the rest of the Bathurst comp.
“Anyone on their day can win and that’s the big message for our guys. We can’t be complacent and keep playing our gritty, hard style of cricket.”