The feedback has been overwhelmingly in favour of these new changes. The players love the new rules and the new format for cup games has gone down a treat. Captains were able to give all 12 of their squad a game but at the same time only needed 6 to play the match. The captains will earn their corn this season!
The tie of the 1st round was undoubtedly Whitecross verses Husters. These two teams look the best quipped of any of the teams to challenge CWC A for the title. And boy did these two not disappoint.
Whitecross settled the quicker on their home table taking all 3 of the Pairs matches.
Michael Feenan and debutant Conall McCavitt took a good opener against Cathal McCoy and Shane McAllister.
Gavin Malone and Brian O'Neill doubled that lead when they beat Billy and Ciaran O'Neill.
Cathal and Shane Phelan won on their return to the Whitecross line-up to make it 3-0. Micky Cunningham and old pals Kevin Magee unable to stop the Hustlers rot.
On to the singles and Cathal Phelan was up first for the hosts against Barry Murphy. Murphy upset the odds when he potted the black after a superb escape from a Phelan snooker to make it 3-1.
'Diddles' McArdle breathed new life in the contest with some stunning pots for 3-2, beating the talented Noel Donaldson.
It looked all over bar the shouting though when Shane Phelan stole the 5th frame off an impressive Phillip Murphy to make it 4-2.
Shane McAllister and James Toner promised to be a cracker between 2 great players and it fittingly it went to a re-spot black after the 20 mins had elapsed. McAllister took it and now at 4-3 it was game on.
Cathal McCoy was favourite against home hero Gareth McCann. This one went to form and this fantastic match was down to a decider.
Kevin Magee loves the big stage. His Whitecross opponent Barry Shields hasn't much Premier Division experience compared to the wrinkled Magee. Shields fluffed his chance and Magee held his nerves to complete a brilliant win for Hustlers and a place in round 2.
CWC A are hot favourite's and the comfortably booked their place in the 2nd round with an 7-2 demolition of Foresters A.
Kieran McMahon and Seamus McGeohegan; Paddy Tavey and Bernie Magee then Doubles winners Pat Brady and Harvey Lavelle had CWC A in cruise control for 3-0.
Kieran McMahon was in devestaing form when he crushed Chris McKeown for 4-0.
An impressive Stephen Rooney booked CWC A into round 2 when he took out Hugh McGrath for 5-0.
Stephen Teggart made his CWC debut making it 6-0 against Raymond Magee.
Experienced former South Armagh player Kieran Loughran got Foresters on the board when he beat Harvey Lavelle and Jimmy Magee beat Pat Brady to give a bit more respectability to the scoreline at 6-2.
Paddy Tavey wasn't feeling just as generous though when he ousted John Allen to finish off a good opening performance for last year's league champions 7-2.
Premier Division Bear's crashed out to lower league opposition Trainor's Bar on Canal Street. Division 1 side Trainor's lost the Pairs battle 2-1 but amazingly pushed on in the singles matches to stun the toothless Bears.
Garry Powell and Neill Heaney gave the crossroads pub an early lead beating Derek and Aaron Ruddy.
William McShane and Paul McParland are tremendous potters and levelled the scores 1-1 with a good win over Ralph Crummy and Anthony Morgan.
Seamus Keenan and Paul Murphy ensured the favourites would go into the singles matches ahead with a win over Pat Darling and Dylan Morgan.
Joe Fearon levelled the scores with some excellent pool defeating the talented Garry Powell for 2-2.
Alex Carlon gave the home side the lead for the first time after a tactical battle with Anthony Morgan.
Adrian 'Oz' Holman had all the pressure dumped on his shoulders. He cracked under the pressure and Conor Quinn put the Canal Street Crazy Gang on the verge of a famous victory at 4-2.
Tiarnan Casey couldn't drag Trainor's over the line. Seamus 'the snail' Keenan pulled it back to 4-3.
Frank McArdle was taking on the exciting sharp shooter Neil 'Baby Faced Assassin' Heaney. It was McArdle who adapted better to the new rules and much to the delight of Trainor's Barmy Army he sealed a memorable victory and a place in round 2.
Derek Ruddy applied icing on the cake win his win over Michael Fitzpatrick made it 6-3 to Trainor's. Trainor's are a good attacking side and we said in our pre-season blog that they will be a force to be reckoned with in Division 1.
Dan's have a fresh young attacking side this season and got their season off to a flying start. The Premier Division side were taking on minnows St. Monnina B in a one sided match.
Seamus and Jimmy McVerry then Barney Preece and Niall Connolly blitzed the Saints for a 2-0 lead.
P Donnelly and D Donnelly took the next to trail 2-1.
Barney Preece hammered former Premier Division player Mark Shevlin for 3-1 Dan's.
Seamus McVerry made it 4-1 before Daddy Jimmy McVerry booked a place in round 2 at 5-1.
Niall Connelly, Michael Green and Niall O'Hagan left the scoreline a thumping 8-1 and showed up a real gulf in class.
Trainor's Bar in Camlough who are newly promoted to the Premier Division were stunned by Division 1 side Windmill.
Brendan McVerry and David Heartly took the opener against Tommy Mooney and Paddy McKeown for 1-0 Windmill.
Liam Bradley and David Doran then Niall McVerry with Charlie Doherty reversed the score for 2-1 Trainor's. Stephen Gray and Conor Cunningham then Cristopher Marley and Paddy Cauldwell the beaten Windmill Pairings.
Stephen Gray was back in but he was unable to stop Tommy Mooney making it 3-1.
Conor Cunningham and Niall McVerry clashed in the best looking match-up on the game. Cunningham showed his potting prowess to peg the scores back to 3-2.
Liam Bradley looked to have all but booked the Camlough side onto round 2 when he made it 4-2 beating a useful Brendan McVerry.
Christopher Marley and then David Heartly took advantage of a beatable looking Trainor's back 3 to square up the match. Paddy McKeown and Mark Trainor the victims.
Paddy Cauldwell from Windmill and Lukie Phelan would play for a place in round 2. It wasn't pretty on the eye but eventually Cauldwell fell over the line and Windmill were well relieved to get a big win over their old Division 1 sparring partners.
Millvale scraped over the line in a titanic match against St. Monnina A.
Paddy McCann and Tom McGuinness have added a bit steel to the Saints and took the opener.
Paul Rowland and Kevin Hillen levelled before Tommy O'Hanlon and Killian McDonnell gave the home side a 2-1 lead in the pub formerly known as the Pit Bar.
Declan Brady then Conor McQuid reversed he scoreline for 3-2 St. Moninna.
Paul Rowland tied things up again at 3-3 and a Sky Sports Classic looked on the cards.
Gary Gibney put Millvale on the hill at 4-3 but the Saints came roaring back to bring the match to a decider thanks to the vastly experienced Tom McGuinness.
Tommy O'Hanlon v Paddy Hughes to decide who would go through to the 2nd round. No quarter was given and none was asked. This was a battle of wits and O'Hanlon with his superior potting squeezed Millvale through.
So many brilliant games played and roll on Cunningham Cup this Thursday coming. And remember were Still The biggest league In Ireland.