The lines were drawn at Nelson Park, Napier, for the premier men's club English-style, 120-over cricket match.
On the main wicket in front of the pavilion Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB) were hosting Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall on Saturday to earn the right to play table-topping Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay at Ongaonga Domain this Sunday.
On the adjacent strip, The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist (NOBM) locked horns with Havelock North to see who were going to be the early-season cellar dwellers this summer.
Cornwall captain Jacob Smith won the toss but that's where the honeymoon ended.
The hosts skittled the visitors for a paltry 124-9 in 40.1 overs to claim a three-wicket victory when the dust settled.
Only Cornwall No 4 Seb Langridge and No 6 Jonathan Hall put some respectability into their innings with 34 runs and 25, respectively.
The chief destroyers for NTOB were Liam Rukuwai and Stevie Smidt, taking 4-27 from 13.1 overs, including six maidens, and 4-32 from 13 overs, including four maidens, respectively.
Fellow right-arm medium/fast bowler Jurgen Andersen was pivotal in tightening the screws with 1-26 from eight overs, including a maiden.
In reply, NTOB had the wobbles in patches before overhauling their target with 126-7 in 39.4 overs.
Again no one dominated with the bat but No 6 George Diack scored 16 runs before No 7 Rukuwai (23 not out) and No 9 Craig Herrick (17no) showed a modicum of stickability.
Smith took 3-26 and leftie Jack Arnall claimed 2-30 but the reality was Cornwall simply didn't put enough on the scoreboard to offer their bowlers something to defend.
Tech skipper Diack said had they won the toss they would have batted.
"There was a little bit in the pitch which was seven to eight games old."
He put down their victory to an amazing fielding training last Thursday "which rubbed off on to the park today".
He lauded Rukuwai and Smidt.
"We had no problems with the overs but we were a little worried," Diack said before emphasising they probably had the strongest batting line up down to No 11.
"Jurgen was at No 11 and he could be batting at No 7 or 8 in any other team in the competition.
"We play CHB away next week on Sunday because of the Hawk Cup match here for the top-of-the-table clash with about a 10-point lead for whoever wins," Diack said.
On the adjacent wicket, Havelock North beat NOBM by 5 wickets to avoid the bottom-dwellers' tag.
The scoreboard showed a bowler for the villagers as only "Tom" after he claimed 8-64 from 16 overs, including two maidens.
If NOBM didn't know who he was then they are unlikely to forget the 21-year-old right-arm seamer the next time they meet.
"He's Tom Dunn and he flew into the country on Monday from Melbourne as part of the Bracewell Academy boys with Brendon Bracewell," Havelock captain Todd Astill said.
"He's just a good bloke who fits into the club culture and he's obviously someone who's bowled before," Astill said, adding he had "genuine pace".
Dunn got the ball through pretty quick on a batting strip that had a greenish tinge in some areas.
That good bloke helped skittle NOBM for 145 runs from 43 overs with No 4 Jack Ward top scoring with 48 while No 3 Sharmit contributed 43.
For Havelock, Sam Prescott was wicket-less but frugal in giving 14 runs from six overs, including a maiden.
In reply, No 5 Astill was unbeaten on 70 and No 7 Dunn was 20 not out after opener Adam Bryant scored 43.
Harry Ghodke took 2-45 but Ward tightened the screws with 0-16 from 10 overs, including five maidens, for NOBM.
At Ongaonga Domain, CHB showed why they are serious about reversing last summer's blues when they chalked up a winning draw against Taradale.
The Scott Schaw-led hosts won the toss and padded up to amass 312 runs before they were all out in the 59th over.
Central Districts wicketkeeper/batsman Ben Smith, of Wanganui, scored 94 runs at No 3 while No 5 English import Paul Hindmarsh showed why he is worth his weight in gold with 85 runs as the pair established a fourth-wicket partnership of 126 runs.
No 7 Paul Lyttle made 37.
CD squad member left-arm offspinner Ajaz Patel took 3-89 from 17 overs, including two maidens, while medium pacer Eddie Torr claimed 3-79 from 14 overs, including a maiden.
In reply, the Toby Doyle-captained Taradale side eked out 120-7 in 60 overs, prompting Schaw to say: "It got quite boring."
Hawke's Bay representative James De Terte, at No 4, scored 35 not out while No 8 B Wilson was unbeaten on 25.
Medium pacer Jake Chambers claimed 4-18 from 16 overs, including eight maidens while offspinner Angus Schaw took 1-12 from nine overs, including six maidens.
"It was a batter-friendly pitch so it wasn't hard to score runs off so that's why DT [De Terte] and Wilson hung around for a bit," Schaw said.
The match against NTOB, he said, would no doubt be a big one although losing it won't affect CHB much unless they concede a rash of bonus points.