For the most part, the second day of the Bathurst-Orange Inter-District Cricket competition's second round seemed reasonably straight-forward, with most of the winning sides going on to secure comfortable victories they'd set up the week before.
Look a little closer at some of those results and push a bit beyond the obvious, and there was still plenty to take out of last weekend's play.
Here's the five things we learned from the second round.
1 | FOR GOODNESS SAKE, GO FORWARD AT RIAWENA
I'll admit Riawena Oval might not be as low and slow as it famously was before being dug up in a rejuvenation attempt a couple of summers ago - a bid former Centrals skipper Adam Shepherd would've been stoked with - but it's still undeniably a front-foot wicket, virtually exclusively.
Even though it's flatter, harder and playing far more consistently than it did prior to being dug up and re-done, the BOIDC's batters will still be playing with fire if they prop on the back foot the way they would elsewhere, like Wade Park for instance.
St Pat's Old Boys found that out the hard way on Saturday. Chasing Orange City's 8-299 declared the Saints got rolled for 81 in their first innings, with seven of their batsmen either being bowled or trapped in front - a classic Riawena card if ever I've seen one.
Fortunately St Pat's Old Boys did learn the error of their ways and were 1-128 when stumps were called, after following on but of course the damage was already done. No judgement though, most of those blokes have probably never played on the ground, how were they to know?
But anyone else who's not had the pleasure should heed the lesson the Saints' bats learned on Saturday - unless a ball is careering toward your noggin, just go forward.
In fact, go forward anyway and deal with it if the ball does happen to get up that much, if it does it won't be quick, so there's no real excuse for not plonking it into the creek with a Ricky Ponting-style pull shot off the front foot.
2 | TIMING DECLARATIONS THE KEY TO OUTRIGHT RESULTS
I'll preface this by making it clear Centennials won and remain one of just two undefeated sides left through the first two rounds, but while hanging on to first innings points is always important the Bulls still cost themselves a genuine chance at an outright win.
In this format of cricket where there's no restrictions on innings and teams can bat as long as they want, the timing of any declaration is crucial if a side seriously wants to have a crack at claiming an outright win and maximum points.
And, for the most part, those sides are going to have to risk potentially losing, because those declarations will usually have to be reasonably sporting ones.
In short, Centennials declared too late in their second innings.
Centennials skittled Centrals for 117 to lead by 61 with, give or take, 45 overs left in the game, before batting for 26 of those and building their lead to 227 before declaring, but the clash petered out into nothingness as Centrals finished 2-66.
Perhaps they weren't that keen on the outright win, but if they were the Bulls simply batted too long, and should've called it with at least 25 overs left to have a crack.
Contract that with City Colts' declaration against Kinross, they set the students just 88 for victory in the dying stages of Saturday's second.
Yes there was only nine over remaining so bowling Kinross out wasn't particularly likely, but it was juicy enough for the students to throw caution to the wing, and City Colts picked up five wickets.
3 | COUGHLAN'S IN SERIOUS FORM... HARTAS CUP FORM
Bathurst City skipper Joey Coughlan's yet to fail this summer, he's batted three times for 265 runs and scored a century and two half-tons, with his average sitting at 88.5 through the first two rounds.
And yet, he's not in Bathurst's Western Zone Premier League side.
Or rather, he hasn't been yet this summer, instead his only representative nod has come in their second-string, Hartas Cup outfit.
In fact he hasn't actually played much representative cricket at all in recent summers although, for the most part, his form's been solid albeit it a touch sporadic at club level.
That suggests to us there might be something more at play here, perhaps he just wasn't available for Bathurst's first two WZPL games against Orange and Dubbo.
We're hopeful that's the case, because there's simply no doubt he's in Bathurst's best XI, and unless he has made himself unavailable there'll be serious questions that need to be asked if he's not picked to face Cowra on December 8.
4 | IT'S TOUGH TO SEE CENTRALS RALLYING
This pains me to say, considering how good of blokes the Centrals guys are and the fact I actually predicted them to win the Orange competition last summer, but it's really tough to see the red and blacks making any impact this summer unless something drastic happens.
Mostly because it's difficult to see where their runs are going to come from.
They've relied heavily on a handful of individuals to do the bulk of the scoring in recent summers - think Nick Dunlop, Dean Turner and so on - but in a stronger competition and a format that hinges on patience, sides simply can't do that.
I will concede, there's some promise. Nick Dunlop made a start last week and Fletcher Rose batted beautifully for 73 in the second innings of round one, although the game was gone by then, and Ben Winslade made 50-odd in the first game of that game too.
But there's nothing happening around them, not yet anyway, and compare that to the other sides in the competition, most of whom have guys in form and punching out big scores, which negates any argument of early-season rust.
I hope Centrals rally, I do, or at the very least show a little bit resilience, otherwise it could be a long, long summer for the red and blacks.
5 | THIS COMPETITION'S A BIT CLOSER THAN FIRST THOUGHT
I'm happy to admit I predicted Bathurst sides being the stronger outfits in this competition, largely due to the assumption I'd made that their club competition has been of a slightly higher standard than Orange's in recent summers.
That's the impression I was given in speaking to plenty of Bathurst-based guys in recent summers, and I think a lot of Orange players thought the same.
Yeah, nah, I think we've seen enough the opening two rounds to say the two competitions were pretty close to square, although it is slightly tough to gauge considering similar playing conditions were only adapted last summer.
- MORE IN CRICKET: Four wicket haul from Toole helps Bulls to a win
A couple of things are glaringly obvious though - the BOIDC should never have folded in the first place and I'd hope the sides that forced the split are kicking themselves now, and both competitions should've been playing under the NSW Premier Cricket rules a long time ago too.
The cricket in this competition is already more exciting, a better standard and far more reliant on skill, strong tactical decisions and holistic efforts than I've seen in quite a while.