Griffith cricket fans of the shortest format of the game will be treated to an absolute feast this weekend.
Yenda, Hanwood, Leagues Club, Exies, Diggers and Coro will all clash for the annual Don ‘Captain’ Coleman Twenty20 Shield that will return to its roots.
Last year, the tournament was played over three months in a Friday night slot before a Sunday grand final but this year it will be all be played this Saturday and Sunday.
There were several reasons for a move back to a single weekend event.
“The last couple of years the standard has declined a bit. It’s a bit hard for players to play Friday, Saturday and the occasional Sunday with rep cricket as well,” Griffith District Cricket Association president Brenton Harrison said.
“We’ll try it this season and go from there.”
Coro captain Haydn Pascoe is one player that is all for the move back to a single weekend for a couple different reasons.
“I don’t mind having the one big round, we were losing a few fans every Friday,” Pascoe said.
“Also, it gives the juniors a chance to get a game at the sporties each Friday instead.”
The Cougars took out the title last year with a 30-run win over Hanwood in the final.
The side will start as one of the favourites again after winning seven first grade matches on the trot.
Pascoe would love to go back-to-back but knew every team has a fair chance to win it.
“It’ll be a good laugh but no doubt, we’d like to win it,” Pascoe said.
“In Twenty20, one person can take the game away from you. Rob Rand got 30 odd and a few wickets to help us win that final last year.”
Exies captain Phil Burge was another captain who didn’t mind the move to a weekend slot but said his team wouldn’t benefit from the move this year.
“It’s something different. Last year was a bit tough before Christmas with end of year celebrations so hopefully it works out,” Burge said.
“Unfortunately, we’ll have a few blokes out but we’ll bring some second grade players in.”
Leagues Club was another side looking to utilise players from second grade and captain Paul Plummer expected the Saturday to be tough with less players available.
“Second grade is still playing, so it might be hard to fill a team for Saturday but for Sunday, we should be able to get a few boys there which would be good,” he said.
All six clubs will field one team each and play four games in the regular rounds.
The matches start from 1.30pm on Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday.
They will be played on Exies No. 1, Exies No. 2 and Collina with the grand final to take place at Exies No. 1 at 4.30pm on Sunday.
Yenda v Leagues at Exies No. 1
Exies v Coro at Exies No. 2
Hanwood v Diggers at Collina
Exies v Diggers at Exies No. 1
Yenda v Hanwood at Exies No. 2
Coro v Leagues at Collina
Yenda v Coro at Exies No. 1
Diggers v Leagues at Exies No. 2
Exies v Hanwood at Collina
Coro v Hanwood at Exies No. 1
Leagues v Exies at Exies No. 2
Diggers v Yenda at Collina
Grand final: first v second at Exies No. 1