CRICKET: Despite falling short of their first Goodchild Shield since 2009, Bundaberg has praised the new format trialled this weekend.
With the competition completed in one weekend, rather than four as in previous editions, the players have approved of the rapid fire matches over the weekend against their Wide Bay rivals Fraser Coast, the Presidents XI and South Burnett.
Talking after this year's competition, Bundaberg player Dale Steele said the new format improved the cricket on offer.
"I think this sort of environment brings out the better players,” he said.
"Everyone is there for the weekend and players aren't playing a game on Saturday and then travelling three hours to play on Sunday.”
With Bundaberg fielding one of their strongest sides in years, Steele said they all embraced the concept.
"I think everyone else enjoyed (the tournament),” he said.
"Wide Bay came up with a good plan and it worked.
"Of course minute things need to be tweaked but overall it is great.”
With the loss to South Burnett proving pivotal to their shield success, with wins over the Presidents XI and Fraser Coast, Steele conceded the team was disappointed not to clinch the title.
"If we had have won the game on Saturday night, we would have won,” he said.
"A few bowling choices in the end let us down.”
With Callum Stitt and Dean Krebs starring for the team against Fraser Coast - with a double century and six wickets respectively - Steele said there was plenty to be happy with over the weekend.
"On wickets that were a batting paradise it was a massive effort from Dean,” he said.
"It was a top effort from Callum as well.”
After the tournament both were rewarded with selection into the Wide Bay representative team, with Joel Saunders and David Mulhall for the upcoming Shaefer Shield.
They will now prepare for the tournament that will be held at Salter Oval on October 29 and 30.