WESTERN Zone’s match against Newcastle today will take on even more significance after the first round of the NSW Country Championships was washed out yesterday.
Led by Dubbo’s Tim Cox, Western Zone had been scheduled to meet Central North in their opening match at Cahill Oval, Newcastle.
However, overnight rain and wet conditions forced the match to be called off just after 10.30am. Cox said while the pitch was OK to play on, there were other safety issues involved in making the decision.
“The square around the pitch was terrible and it wouldn’t have been safe to play on,” he said.
“The pitch itself we would have got away with but the square was no good.
“It’s not good to lose a third of your carnival but the Newcastle v North Coast game was called off, too, so we are all in the same boat.”
Western Zone, whose side includes Orange’s Trent Colley, Nathan Rosser and Craig Wallace, used the cancellation as a chance to have a hit at an indoor complex and do some bonding before they faced competition heavyweights Newcastle at Cahill Oval today.
The squad left for Newcastle on Thursday minus off-spinner Tom Quilter, who had work commitments, and Cox admitted not many of the players knew each other that well.
“We’ll use the rain as a positive and go and do some tenpin bowling and have a couple of drinks later on and actually get to know the guys from the other towns,” he said.
“These kinds of squads you play against the other guys occasionally but you don’t get to know them that well. So we will do some group things later in order to get to know each other.”
Today’s game starts at 10am.