After three seasons away, ORC is back in first grade and while they have a tough start to the new campaign, the club is ready to impress.
ORC last played at the highest level back during the 2017-18 Bathurst District Cricket Association season, but withdrew to second grade at the end of that campaign.
After some solid years in second grade, including a grand final victory at the end of last season, the Tigers will return to first grade but in the Bathurst Orange Inter District Cricket.
OTHER BOIDC SEASON PREVIEWS:
- RUGBY UNION:Strong start to BOIDC season will be crucial for Rugby Union
- CITY COLTS:Russell Gardner to lead City Colts during the 2021-22 BOIDC season
- ST PAT'S OLD BOYS: St Pat's Old Boys skipper Adam Ryan wants redemption after last season's BOIDC grand final loss
- BATHURST CITY: Redbacks skipper Joey Coughlan vows to 'give it a red hot crack'
And they'll have a baptism of fire when they get their season under this Saturday against last year's minor premiers and grand final runners-up St Pat's Old Boys at Morse Park 1.
That will be followed by back-to-back away games to reigning premiers Orange City and last season's finalists Cavaliers.
While it's a tough start to the season, new captain Dave Sellers is looking forward to the challenge.
"I don't think many people expect too much from us, so it'll be a chance to see where we're at. We'll give it a good crack," he said.
It's been an off-season of recruiting for BOIDC's newest club, with Sellers and his brother Wayne returning to their junior club from City Colts, as well as Tim McKinnon and Angus Daymond.
Siegert, also a Tigers junior, joins from St Pat's Old Boys and brings along the likes of Hugh Parsons and Ben Cant.
Centennials Bulls talent Ethan Muller has also linked with the Tigers.
"We've got some younger guys coming through too. They've played a lot of cricket together, so that'll put them in good stead but obviously it's a big step up from second grade," he said.
"We've got a few blokes coming back. Myself, Wayne and Tim McKinnon.
"Trent Fitzpatrick is still there and we've all won comps before, so there is a bit of experience there as well."
Sellers said the experience of the older guys will help nurture the young talent at the club.
"There's a big step up from second grade to first grade, so having those guys that have been there before will help guide them along," he said.
"Nearly our whole team are ORC juniors. There might be one or two, but the rest are our juniors.
"It's great to be back. The way we sort of faded out and dropped out was disappointing. We just want to be competitive, that's all."
Sellers said Tim McKinnon will bring plenty of experience to the squad with his bowling.
"Most of our bowlers are pretty young blokes, that were successful in second grade," he said.
"As a unit all together I'd say the young fellas will perform well.
"But I guess the one to pick out will be Tim McKinnon, the older, more experienced former rep player. He'll be the one that stands up."
Tait Borgstahl was the leading wicket taker for ORC in second grade last season with 28, while Jacob Ryan had 21.
Sellers is expecting Siegert to stand up with the bat, the new recruit scoring 133 from eight innings for an average of 22.2 in BOIDC last season for St Pat's.
"Batting wise, we've got a little bit of depth," he said.
"A lot of the younger guys look pretty good. Hamish Siegert will be one for us that'll have to stand up. He opens the batting, so I think he'll have a good year."
There's a big step up from second grade to first grade ...ORC skipper Dave Sellers
Fitzpatrick was the leading man with the bat for the Tigers last season, scoring 467 from 14 innings for an average of 38.92.
He hit a 2020-21 second grade score high of 141 against St Pat's Old Boys White last November.
Like many BOIDC skippers this pre-season, Sellers couldn't go past last season's minor premiers St Pat's Old Boys as the early competition favourites.
"I think Pat's are the team to beat," he said.
"I'm sure a lot of people will say that. They'll be good."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: