There's been plenty of shake-ups and surprises across the 2019/20 Dubbo District Cricket Association season so far, but the addition of the First Grade Limited-Overs Cup seems to be a change with some staying power.
Dubbo District Cricket Association president Jeff Shanks said the mid-season decider, that pits the best performing teams during the season's one day matches against each another, is showing exactly the kind of results the association was hoping for.
Macquarie Cricket Club and the CYMS Cougars will face off for the cup this Sunday, with the Cougars eking out a spot against the current ladder-leaders after the for and against standings are taken into account.
"It's been really good, the clubs have gone at it pretty hard, which you can see from Macquarie clearing out the top and three other teams tying on points in second, so it's definitely brought that bit more excitement to the competition," Shanks said.
Currently, when only one day matches are taken into account CYMS is in second with 33 points, but both the third placed Newtown Tigers and fourth placed RSL Colts are also on 33.
Shanks says the intended effect was to give the game's various forms more of a focus and to keep all the teams invested in the competition.
"We want to keep them going hard all season long, it's just another attraction for them to push for, it gives those teams that may not be as strong in one day cricket a chance to perform better," he said.
While Shanks said the association didn't have any more unique fixtures or ideas in the pipeline currently, he indicated that the organisation were open to making more changes if the interest arises.
"It's one of those things that we look at and we see how the players go and how they feel about it, but it's designed to keep people interested in that top level across the different formats; they have a T20 trophy, the Whitney Cup and now a one day cup," he said.
Shanks said the opportunity for players and teams who favoured the one day format to cut loose and stretch their legs could only benefit local cricket going forward.
"It gives those teams that are far stronger in the one day format a bit more to play for and it's just due to the restrictions in the field," he said.
"Two day cricket is obviously more attritional when you're playing over that full stretch of overs and there's definitely those teams that prefer the hack and slash of one day rather than that hard, attritional grind, so it's good to give them something where they can play to their strengths."
The grand final will be played from 1pm at No. 2 Oval.