Narrabri District Cricket Association’s 2023/24 campaign grand finals have been rescheduled due to a clash with Country Cricket NSW’s Country Plate tournament decider despite the date of the NDCA’s big day having been locked in when the draw was released back in October.

The Country Plate grand final, which the NDCA’s representative team has qualified to play in against Highlands District Cricket Association, was initially set to be played this Saturday, February 24. But that date was only announced early this month, and due to difficulties surrounding venue and accommodation booking at such late notice, the match unfortunately had to be rescheduled.

The new date for the Country Plate decider is Sunday, March 10 and the Pink Slugs will travel to Hurstville Oval in Sydney’s southern suburbs to contest the game.

Given that the venue is a six-and-a-half-hour drive from Narrabri, it would be inconceivable to expect the team to make the journey following grand final and presentation day on Saturday, March 9, which forced the NDCA board to change the date of their deciders.

An emergency meeting was called and held last Tuesday, during which a range of options were discussed.

They included pushing the NDCA grand finals back a week to Saturday, March 16, or bringing them forward to Saturday, March 2. Pushing them back would have seen round 12 and the preliminary finals go ahead as initially scheduled on February 24 and March 2, while there were two options if grand final day was brought forward. The first was playing round 12 on February 24 as initially scheduled and then playing the preliminary finals the following day. The second was scrapping round 12 and playing the preliminary finals on February 24.

Tatts and Tourist Hotel are set to meet in both grades in the final round of the regular season, and those clubs are already locked in to meet in the preliminary finals as RSL have already secured the minor premierships in both first and second grade, which provided the NDCA an opportunity to bring the finals forward a week with minimal disruption.

The board gave the three clubs the rest of the week to discuss the options with their players and officials and the response was a 50/50 split between the option of playing the preliminary final this Saturday and the decider on March 2 and the option of playing the preliminary final on March 2 and the decider on March 16.

The decision went down to a board vote at a meeting held on Sunday to resolve the issue and that vote went in favour of hosting the grand finals on March 16.

Round 12 will still be contested this Saturday, with Tatts and Tourist Hotel to meet in a first grade clash that will decide which team finishes ranked second and which team places third as they enter the weekend locked on 50 points. Those two clubs will also meet in second grade at Hogan Oval, while RSL and the Western Razorbacks will meet at Leitch Oval in first grade. RSL have the bye in second grade.

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