The Aberdeen Pennant League is set for a major revamp this season.
In a bid to reinvigorate the tournament, eight of the 15 participating clubs will qualify for the quarter-finals from the opening three five-team sections.
The change is intended to create more meaningful matches in the early stages.
League secretary Derek Johnstone said: “It was agreed at the annual meeting that the present structure was becoming stale.
“The interest was waning for the clubs losing their first couple of games so we’ve introduced the quarter-finals.
“The change will see what previously would have been the semi-finalists (the three league winners and the best overall runner-up) being awarded a home tie in the quarter-finals.
“Their opponents will be drawn from the remaining second-placed and two best third-placed clubs from the three sections.
“The quarter-finals will be played between July 18-25.
“Covid put paid to all the Pennant League last year, but hopefully, given the vaccine roll-out, some sort of normality will resume and we will be able to compete again this season.”
Defending champions Newmachar will start the defence of their title against Murcar Links on May 27.
Royal Aberdeen, who were beaten by 3.5-2.5 in that 2019 final, will begin at Stonehaven on the same night.
ABERDEEN PENNANT LEAGUE
(Sponsored by Molly’s Bistro)
25 – Section A: Nigg Bay v Caledonian. Section B: Auchmill v Portlethen.
27 – Section A: Stonehaven v Royal Aberdeen. Section B: Bon Accord v Craibstone. Section C: Newmachar v Murcar Links; Peterculter v Banchory.
1 – Section A: Deeside v Stonehaven; Nigg Bay v Royal Aberdeen. Section B: Northern v Auchmill; Portlethen v Bon Accord (5.15pm); Section C: Hazlehead v Peterculter (5.15pm); Murcar Links v Banchory.
8 – Section A: Caledonian v Deeside; Stonehaven v Nigg Bay. Section B: Portlethen v Craibstone (5.15pm).
Section C: Banchory v Newmachar (5.45pm); Murcar Links v Hazlehead.
10 – Section B: Bon Accord v Northern (5.15pm).
14 – Section A: Caledonian v Stonehaven.
15 – Section B: Craibstone v Auchmill; Northern v Portlethen. Section C: Banchory v Hazlehead (5.30pm). Section C: Newmachar v Peterculter.
17 – Section A: Royal Aberdeen v Deeside.
22 – Section A: Deeside v Nigg Bay. Section B: Auchmill v Bon Accord; Craibstone v Northern. Section C: Hazlehead v Newmachar (5.15pm).
24 – Section A: Royal Aberdeen v Caledonian; Section C Peterculter v Murcar Links.
Buffer week – Tuesday June 29 to Thursday July 1.
18-25 – Quarter-finals.
8 – Semi-finals at Royal Aberdeen (12.04pm) and Kings Links (12.02pm).
12 – Final at Nigg Bay (12.02pm).