As someone who calls Scotland home and had never played cricket in Dubbo prior to this season, Lyle Robertson had no idea of the Western Zone Premier League (WZPL) rivalry with Bathurst.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
It's a different story now.
The former Scotland under 19 international will be part of the Dubbo representative side that does battle with Bathurst in a fourth successive (WZPL) grand final on Sunday.
Bathurst has won each of the past three deciders, but with Robertson among the fresh faces in the Dubbo side and home ground advantage secured there's high hopes things can be different this season.
"The boys have been telling me about it," Robertson said of the rivalry.
"They want to make it right this year and get the win. We just need to go out and play hard."
While he hasn't hit the heights he wanted during his debut summer in Australia, Robertson has been a consistent performer for Macquarie in the RSL Whitney Cup this season and quickly slotted into Dubbo's representative side.
A spin bowler and more than handy with the willow, Robertson is one of a number of all-rounders in the Dubbo side named for Sunday.
Captain Marty Jeffrey will have a wealth of options at his disposal as he, Robertson, Lachlan Strachan, Ben Knaggs and Mat Skinner are all leading all-rounders.
Chris Morton, Ben Wheeler and Thomas Nelson have starred with the bat in the RSL Whitney Cup this season while Bailey Edmunds will provide the pace option with the ball alongside Knaggs and Skinner.
"It's not just we're strong bowling or batting, we've got boys who can do both and boys who have specific skills so it's a good range of players we've got in the group," Robertson said.
Being part of the representative team was a goal for Robertson when he arrived at Dubbo and the chance to win a title is something he's eager to take.
The Scotsman is in the top 10 wicket-takers in Dubbo this season with 16 victims at an average of 21.75 while he's also chimed in with 245 runs at 22 this season for Macquarie.
"It's been a bit disappointing so far personally, not putting in the performances I'd like, but I'm loving every minute of it," he said of playing and living in Dubbo.
As for the negatives, it's one most people could probably guess.
"The heat is a bit of a factor. It takes it out of you a wee bit," he laughed.
"But it's been good and I've enjoyed it so far."
Given Macquarie all-rounder Ben Strachan previously spent time living and playing in Scotland, Robertson had the contact in Dubbo and it wasn't all a shock to the system when he arrived.
He'd spoken to people who had played at Dubbo previously and, given he is a spin bowler, there was one message he heard quite a bit and has taken notice of.
"As a spinner, you don't get much turn and pitches are like concrete so I've had to use other variations and then I've just worked hard with the bat," he said.
"It's been good."
As well as his own performances not being what he had hoped, Macquarie's form this season has also been disappointing.
The Blues sit in fifth spot in first grade and finals hopes are almost gone for the summer.
Two-day matches return this round and from Saturday the Blues will take on Souths, who sit one spot above them on the ladder.
The bright spot this season has been Macquarie's Twenty20 form.
"It's been a really disappointing season because we've got a good team but we're not putting the performances together," Robertson said.
"You can see on the scorecards, there's been crucial games we've lost and we've lost those, the other team hasn't won them.
"But the big focus is the T20s because we've won three-from-three there."
After day one of the clash with Souths, the focus will turn to the representative game.
The Bathurst side is a vastly different one this season after a number of changes and Dubbo scored a narrow two-wicket win in the previous meeting between the two teams this season.
Play on Sunday starts at 10am at No. 1 Oval.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.