When The Ford Trophy schedule was finalised in 2019 the only finals in the calendar were an elimination and grand final.
Now, after nine rounds, tomorrow's clash between Northern Districts (ND) and Wellington Firebirds is more or less a quarter-final, with the winner all-but guaranteed a place in the elimination final, while a loss for ND will see them eliminated from The Ford Trophy.
A loss for the Firebirds would see them needing both Otago and Canterbury to lose in order to secure a spot in the elimination final.
The above scenario would see ND finish second and earn hosting rights for the elimination final; something which seemed unlikely just a few matches ago.
To ensure their Ford Trophy campaign goes to finals week, ND need to win, and win well.
They currently sit fourth; one point behind Canterbury and ahead of Otago Volts on net-run-rate.
With bonus points on offer, a scenario of three teams on 24 points is a real possibility, so boosting net-run-rates could be crucial.
Whangarei's Cobham Oval is the backdrop for tomorrow's match; a ground in which ND defeated high-flying Auckland Aces on Wednesday.
Round ten of The Ford Trophy begins Sunday, February 9, 11.00am at Cobham Oval, Whangarei.
NORTHERN DISTRICTS FORD TROPHY SQUAD - ROUND TEN V AUCKLAND ACES
Joe Carter (c)