In a new addition to the Daily Liberal's coverage of the RSL-Whitney Cup this season, each week we'll look at some of the major talking points coming out of the first grade competition in the Quick Singles series.
It might be good, it might be bad, it might just be something we find funny. Either way, it's more of a look at what's happening in one of the bush's strongest club competitions.
Here's what caught our attention on Saturday.
1. Batsmen give Knaggs a headache
CYMS captain Ben Knaggs is in a tricky spot. He wants his batsmen to go on and make a really big score but he also knows how valuable and successful they've been with the way things are.
Most batsmen in Dubbo score at a pretty quick rate but it's especially the case for the Cougars.
Brock Larance is one of the most action-packed batsmen in the bush while fellow young Tom Coady has taken his batting to a new level this season, with more boundaries and maximums added to his game.
Lachlan Strachan has also been scoring well but no-one from CYMS has cracked triple figures since David McAlister did late in the 2017/18 season.
Coady raced to 68 on the weekend against Souths before being caught on the boundary. His side still won, reaching the target of 203 with 16 balls to spare, but it was nervy at times.
Therein lies the problem for CYMS. They're getting off to rapid starts but if they're more patient will the wins come more comfortably? Or would that be going against the players' natural games?
As the season goes on and pressure starts to build it could be the question which defines the Cougars' season.
2. Hughes' happy homecoming
James Hughes has been attending university in Newcastle for a number of years now and whenever he comes back for his Christmas and New Year holidays his bowling seems to have gone to another level.
Early signs are that is again the case as the Macquarie quick jagged three wickets in his return to Dubbo on Saturday.
His spell played a big part in the Blues' strong win over Newtown and he will really add something to an already quality attack.
With Ben Strachan still not fully firing on all cylinders due to an elbow complaint and Angus Cusack still working his way to his best after a season way from the game, Hughes' return is a welcome one.
The Blues meet CYMS in a much-anticipated top-of-the-table clash next weekend and then third-placed RSL-Colts in the final round before the mid-season break.
Hughes' inclusion could be the thing which fires the Blues to the top of the ladder in that time.
3. Good chat acknowledged
It's taken a number of weeks but Angus Norton is finally getting a mention in this column.
One of the real characters of the competition, Norton is renowned for his ability to talk almost non-stop throughout a game of cricket. Plenty is quality and constructive. Some of it about his own game and ability. Some of it, the less said the better. And he would agree with that. Let's not start-up a conversation about his recent McDonald's Megahit wicket.
A lover of all things grade cricket, the one thing Norton holds dear is on-field banter so he even he took some pleasure when some quality chat went his way on Saturday.
Coming out to bat for Souths at Lady Cutler 2 against CYMS, Norton's face was plastered with his trademark bright canary yellow, almost lime green, zinc under his helmet.
Cougars' teenager Gilbert Chaseling took the chance, noticing the somewhat ill-looking colour on Norton's face.
"Come on, let's knock over sick Braveheart," the often-quiet Chaseling said.
As laughter rang around the field Norton turned to the slips, and gave a nod and smile in acknowledgement of the sledge.
No doubt this won't be the last bit of chat relating to Norton this season and there's every chance he'll appear in this column for one reason or another before the season is out.
Barry Hildebrandt Medal tally
Every season the Daily Liberal's sports team awards a three, two, one after each game in first grade. We'll give updates after each weekend until Christmas, when voting goes behind closed doors.
Here's how this campaign's race is shaping up:
- 10: Ricky Medway (Macquarie)
- 9: Lachlan Strachan (CYMS)
- 7: Marty Jeffrey (RSL-Colts)
- 6: Brock Larance (CYMS)
- 5: Dan Medway (Macquarie), Bailey Edmunds (CYMS), Jacob Hill (Rugby), Adam Wells (Souths), Tom Coady (CYMS), Ben Knaggs (CYMS)
- 4: Koda Sissian (Rugby), Mat Skinner (Newtown), Charlie Kempston (RSL-Colts)
- 3: Steve Skinner (Newtown), John Colwell (Souths), Doug Potter (Newtown), Roland O'Connor (Rugby), Brad Cox (Colts), James Hughes (Macquarie),Mitch Russo (Newtown)
- 2: Ben Semmler (Colts), Luke Carman (Macquarie), Lachie Rayner (Souths), Ben Williams (CYMS), Jesse Spang (Newtown), Ben Strachan (Macquarie), Aidan Bennewith (Rugby), Angus Norton (Souths)
- 1: Lee Price (Newtown), Lochie Endacott (Souths), Jason Green (Macquarie), Joey Haylock (Macquarie), Dan French (Newtown), Anthony Atlee (RSL-Colts), Chris Morton (Colts), Greg Rummans (Souths), Bede Young (RSL-Colts)