Souths keen to put early pressure on defending premiers.

Jason Ryan at the crease for RSL-Colts. The experienced wicketkeeper-batsman returns to the side this weekend.
Jason Ryan at the crease for RSL-Colts. The experienced wicketkeeper-batsman returns to the side this weekend.

Pressure will be the key for South Dubbo as they look to start their 2017/18 RSL-Whitney Cup campaign with a win over RSL-Colts at Lady Cutler 2 on Saturday.

Inspired by a century to gritty opening batsman Josh Williams, the Hornets made 9-313 on day one, but will take to the field on Saturday knowing all too well that the defending premiers are more than capable of chasing down the target.

Matches between these two sides have taken on extra significance over the past few seasons, with Souths rising to become a legitimate challenger and Colts always around the top end of Dubbo cricket.

I think Colts probably underestimated us a bit last week when they sent us in.

Adam Wells

Their grand final last season was a pulsating contest, and while every match is different, there is sure to be plenty of banter on the field on Saturday.

Both teams will welcome back a host of stars for day two, but stand-in Hornets skipper Adam Wells believes runs on the board is a big advantage for his team.

The Hornets will welcome back Mitch Bower, Mat Finlay, Will Lindsay, Henry Railz and wicketkeeper Corey McDean, while Colts will be bolstered by having the likes of Jason Ryan, Marty Jeffrey, Tom Atlee and Darryl Williams at their disposal.

“I think Colts probably underestimated us a bit last week when they sent us in,” he said.

“It’s not often you find a side that wins the toss will send a team in in Dubbo, but they did and we got through it thanks to some determined batting.

“Most of the blokes we were missing were batsmen and they probably thought they would run through us, but our boys dug in, batted out the 75 overs and we’ve posted a very good score.

“For ‘Ferret’ to come out and score a ton was massive for us. There wouldn’t be a more humble, generous guy around, and for our second grade to finish and be able to come over and watch him bring it up was terrific.”

Over the past 10-15 years Colts have made a habit of winning games from difficult positions.

Regardless of the match situation, they back themselves and that will be the case again on Saturday.

For Wells, removing Wes Giddings and Brad Cox cheaply will be the key, and building pressure will help his side do that.

“Wes sets them up and can get them going at five or six runs an over from the start,” he said.

“But because of the way he plays he will give us chances so it’s up to us to take them.

“And ‘Coxy’ has been so consistent for so long. He’s not going to tear us apart but he can bat time and accumulate a big score.

“If we can bowl to a plan and build some pressure it will force their guys to try and take a few risks. It’s not a game that is going to be won inside 30-40 overs so we just have to dig in again for the fight.

“But having the runs on the board already means we are in a pretty good position. We just have to go and finish off the job now and I think we are capable of doing that.”

Play resumes at 1pm.