SATURDAY shapes as a pivotal one for those in and around the Newcastle first grade finals race for 2017-2018 with just 10 points separating six teams between third and eighth.
Making matters even more interesting will be the conditions of play introduced this summer based on recommendations from the NDCA competition review committee in the off-season.
The four matches which didn’t get underway to start round 12 last weekend don’t revert to one-dayers as they traditionally have in the past.
Instead there will be 90 overs available for both teams without any restrictions placed on bowlers, but the first innings can’t exceed halfway (45 overs).
Bonus points won’t be available, but outrights can be obtained.
This scenario affects six sides in the top eight, including a clash for the minor premiership.
The two games that did go ahead are poised for outright results, which will only add more fuel to the play-offs fire.
There are two rounds remaining from February 17.
* AN all-familiar name appeared in Wallsend’s third-grade team on Saturday.
G Geise made 93.
It was Gary, not father Greg, in his comeback from an extended cricket lay-off after returning to Newcastle for work.
* MEREWETHER made a $5000 donation to the Mark Hughes Foundation on Sunday when the Lions hosted a T20 round of the NCC Summer Bash.
* SUNDAY week (February 18) at Dudley’s Crown Hotel, Redhead Cricket Club are hosting a Charlie’s Run4Kids fundraiser featuring Test bowler Rodney Hogg.