What it meant for the Mount Maunganui players to win the McNaughton Trophy against Geyser City Sports at Blake Park on Sunday was clear for all to see.
The symbol of Bay of Plenty Reserve Grade cricket success was donated by well-known Te Puke identity Barry McNaughton and his family long before most of the players were born.
But the desire to win the 40-overs per side competition among clubs throughout the Bay is stronger than ever today. In recent seasons the scope has widened for the McNaughton Trophy to become a Baywide Reserve and B grade knockout competition.
Mount captain Jason Luke says today's players know all about the trophy's significance.
"Right from the first game the players were all aware that the history is immense. To me it was something we really wanted and the boys responded every time we played."
Mount batted first on Sunday against Rotorua's Geyser City, posting a competitive target of 219/9 with Nathan Walker making 58, Kyle Dovey 42 and Logan Carr 28. Satpal Singh and Joe O'Donoghue took three wickets each.
Geyser City lost a wicket first ball bowled by veteran Steve Charman. Their middle order resembled the Black Caps against England with wickets falling regularly before they were bowled out for 143 in the 31st over. Josh Allan and Dovey nabbed three wickets each.
Luke was more than happy with the 219 his team scored off their 40 overs.
"The 219 was useful because we were looking at 180 I think so we were happy with that.
"We had two young boys in Kyle (Dovey) and Nathan (Walker) who played well. Nathan turned the strike over and KD came in and smashed 42 off about 30 balls which set the impetus and Nathan carried on. It was good," Luke said.
"I can't complain with the bowling. There were a few sixes that could have been a problem there but the boys stuck to what they had to do and we took all our catches."
Geyser City captain Manny Kumar was disappointed his team did not put up a better run chase but said it was a big learning curve for his players.
"We kind of collapsed in the middle and just lost too many wickets. After 20 overs we were 80-something and still needed 140 in 20 overs and the guys had a go but I think we panicked," he said.
"We are just not used to being in a McNaughton final. I think this was the first time in a big final for the guys and a big day for the club. The pitch was really good to bat on but shot selection and scoreboard pressure kind of got to us at the end."
Kumar paid tribute to Cam Ingram who was unable to play the final due to illness.
"We missed his wicket keeping and his batting. He is only Year 12 at Western Heights and was the best McNaughton player for us."
McNaughton Trophy final
Mount Maunganui 219/9 (Nathan Walker 58, Kyle Dovey 42, Logan Carr 28; Satpal Singh 3/33, Joe O'Donoghue 3/42) defeated Geyser City Sports 143 (Richie Downs 29, Manny Kumar 28, Liam Kelly 21; Josh Allen 3/11, Kyle Dovey 3/34, Steve Charman 2/26)