Group 11 2018: Dubbo CYMS returns to No. 1 Oval for Wellington Cowboys clash

HE'S BACK: Ben Marlin (centre) made his long-awaited return for CYMS last weekend. Photo: AMY McINTYRE
HE'S BACK: Ben Marlin (centre) made his long-awaited return for CYMS last weekend. Photo: AMY McINTYRE

Green and white colours in the grandstand, the Old Boys up in the clubhouse, and CYMS doing battle with Wellington in a top-of-the-table clash.

It’s not a trip down memory lane, it’s the scene which awaits Group 11 fans on Sunday.

Due to Macquarie playing host to Westside on Sunday, the Fishies have been forced to play their home game against the Cowboys at No. 1 Oval.

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The ground is the scene of the some of the greatest moments in the club’s history and was CYMS’ home ground until they made the move to Apex Oval full-time in 2014.

“I used to love playing there and it was home for a long time,” Ryan said.

While CYMS sits unbeaten at the top of the ladder and is favourites for the title, Ryan has had to deal with plenty this season.

The coach has rarely had to deal with as many injuries during his time at the helm but players are starting to make their way back to full fitness.

While Luke Jenkins and Jordan Reynolds are both out for the season and Alex Bonham and Billy Sing are both a few weeks off, Ben Marlin made his long-awaited return last season.

Marlin underwent knee surgery in the off-season after an injury in the grand final win over Nyngan, but got through some solid minutes off the bench in last week’s win over Forbes.

RETURN: Luke Jenkins in action against Wellington in a clash with Wellington in 2012. Photo: FILE

RETURN: Luke Jenkins in action against Wellington in a clash with Wellington in 2012. Photo: FILE

“He played reserves and then a bit of first grade and he went really well. He’s really happy to be back,” Ryan said.

“Hopefully he’ll be able to get through a bit more and I know he’s excited.

“He brings a lot of energy. He’s a good talker out there and always tries his hardest. He’s been missed since the grand final and it’s a bit weird, you get used to playing without him but it’s good to have him back.”

All the injuries this season has forced Ryan to shuffle his side around regularly but the versatility of a number of players meant that had little on the side’s form.

With Bonham currently sidelined, Brad Pickering has shifted from fullback into the halves and jersey Wighton has taken on the number one jersey, while Wade Kavanagh has been a standout since slotting in at hooker.

“It’s very good and someone like Billy (Sing) was another who could play in the centres or back row, and Wade too,” Ryan said.

“It’s a good thing having guys who can play in a number of positions.”

CYMS would all but seal the minor premiership with victory on Sunday but Ryan fully expects the Cowboys to “come out firing” like they did last time the sides met.

The fast-starting Cowboys led 14-0 early at Kennard Park that day before the Fishies came storming back to score a 24-18 victory.

The action at No. 1 Oval starts with the league tag at 11am on Sunday.