A few short weeks ago, a limp batting effort when the base had been built for a victory charge was squandered by Derbyshire against Lancashire, a result that set in motion a succession of disappointing results.
RLODC progression was there for the taking and ignored, so tomorrow offers an opportunity for things to be put right. The squads were announced this afternoon and there were several notable things within the Derbyshire ranks.
First up was the omission of Billy Godleman. He is one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet and a fine player, but I have said before that I have never been convinced of his suitability for this format and felt we needed something more at the top of the order.
Then there was the fact that no captain has been announced. Last year it was Gary Wilson who got the gig for the majority of the tournament, with Daryn Smit replacing him when he had Ireland duties. This year either of them could be in the frame, as could Alex Hughes, but I can only assume that the 'big reveal' will come tomorrow. Might even be something left field, with a new man taking the reins.
It all suggests that the squad has rightly been chosen by the coaches - John Wright, Dominic Cork and Grant Bradburn - rather than the senior group, so the extension of that is that they will have decided on the captain for the format, or at the very least for this game.
It is a squad that contains two new additions, announced today, in Anuj Dal and Matt McKiernan. Both have impressed me when I have seen them, Dal being a free-flowing, very wristy batsman who played quite delightfully at Belper recently, as well as registering a cavalier knock or two in T20 second team matches. He can bowl useful medium pace as well, so from a balance perspective has much to offer.
So too McKiernan, who looks a prospect with his leg spin, unfazed when the Glamorgan batsmen tried to get after him and with good turn. I didn't see him bat, but the club's Twitter feed reckoned him a hard-hitter, as they really have to be in this format. They are both mobile in the field, though their inclusion suggests that Brodrick, Davis and Gleadall are unfit, none having played in the recent second team game nor, to my knowledge, for their clubs this past weekend.
The squad in full:
I'd be surprised if the two new lads play here, but there is a decision to be made behind the stumps and if both Gary Wilson and Daryn Smit play then the assumption would be that Sharif also misses out here. Then again, his growing reputation as a death bowler could earn him the nod, especially with Bradburn in there to fight his corner.
Lancashire? Well they have Liam Livingstone back from Lions duty to skipper the side and welcome back Joe Mennie from injury, who is joined by fellow Aussie James Faulkner in the overseas roles. If they get a slow wicket to suit their spinners I will be astonished, especially after Lockie Ferguson seemed thrilled to see pace and bounce this week.
Their squad: Livingstone, Brown, Clark, Croft, Davies, Faulkner, Jennings, Lester, Lilley Mennie, Onions, Parkinson, Parry, Vilas.
So no Joss Buttler to contend with, at least, but a stern test for our boys. With so many new names, so many unknown entities in the squad, I find this a hard one to predict. Last night I watched Nottinghamshire, the reigning champions, get well and truly stuffed by a disciplined Birmingham Bears side, which served to illustrate the strength of this group.
You all know I am an optimist, so I am going for a fast and lively Derbyshire attack having enough in the locker, especially with the motivation of a new coaching team, to get us off to a flyer here.
What do you think?