TEMPERED expectations were what Bathurst City carried into the Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade season but a new-look team has put the club well on its way towards another appearance in the finals.
The club won three straight games to start the season and shows few signs of trouble despite losing a bulk of their longstanding veteran first graders.
Redbacks captain Joey Coughlan shared his thoughts on the team’s performance so far.
“WE had no expectations after losing so many players from last season so to be up towards the top end of the ladder is great,” Coughlan said.
Wins over City Colts, St Pat’s Old Boys and Centennials Bulls got Redbacks off to an amazing start.
Bathurst City suffered a heavy loss to defending champions Rugby Union to end their bid at an unbeaten one-day portion of the season.
THESE were a fair result for Redbacks and proved vital in keeping them on top of the table.
“We picked up two wins and a loss so it was a mixed bag. It was the first time they could run it after all of them were rained out last season,” Coughlan said.
“The scheduling wasn’t great. Having it at the start would be better because all the representative Twenty20 is on at that stage, like the Regional Bash, so going from that into the one-dayers could be a better way to work into the season.”
WHAT NEEDS IMPROVING
WITH their player departures this season the average age of the Redbacks first grade side plummeted but it didn’t drop the team’s enthusiasm.
Coughlan believes with a new-look group it’s important they learn how to focus that enthusiasm into sensible batting.
“Being a younger side we’ve probably let the game get away from us at times and a bit of game awareness needs to come in. We lose a couple of wickets and we don't tend to try and rebuild the innings,” he said.
BATHURST City were a force to be reckoned with during last season’s two-day games, winning four out of their five games to race up the ladder and fall just short of a major semi-final.
The scenario is different this time for Redbacks who go in as the team every other club is trying to catch.
“We’ll have a couple of blokes coming up the order who put value on their wickets. We have the right balance for the two-dayers. I’ve got 13 players to choose from, which is tough, but it’s a good problem to have,” Coughlan said.
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CITY’S PLAYERS TO WATCH
It’s a familiar face and the club’s two new players who Coughlan believes can make the biggest impact.
“Campbell Baker will go up somewhere towards the top of the order. He’s solid as a rock and probably has the best technique in our side,” he said.
“Aditya Adey, our import, looks like he’ll score a bucketload of runs in the two-dayers. Can’t see many getting him out unless he tries to ramp something again. He’s got no fear.
“Ben Orme, every year with the bat and ball, tries his guts out.”
BIGGEST TITLE THREAT
It’s the team who Redbacks bested in last season’s minor semi-final who Coughlan believes can make a statement.
“City Colts started the year really slow but we always had them highlighted as a team to watch, with the players they picked up and their mix of young and old fellas.
“The finals experience was great for Rugby last year too, also for St Pat’s.”
Redbacks resume their season with a match against City Colts at the Sportsground this Saturday.