To proclaim that Central Hawke's Bay team are the Hawke's Bay premier men's club twenty20 champions this summer is too simplistic and won't do justice to their trials and tribulations as a country club.
You see, there's a lot more to the Ruahine Motors-sponsored CHB side's road to glory than meets the eye, after they pipped You Travel Taradale CC by eight runs in the final of the Murray McKearney Memorial Cup in Napier yesterday.
"We've got guys who travel from all over the place. We have a player [Richard Lansdowne] who comes from Dannevirke and we've lost a few to uni now as well as those who were playing [Hawke's Bay] rugby sevens [on Saturday]," said a composed CHB captain Dominic Thompson.
"We've just brought in players who are committed to playing for us even though they don't get to bat or bowl so that's pretty much what we've been doing every week and it's good for the club," said Thompson, after they upset perennial favourites Big Barrel Napier Technical Old Boys in the semifinal in the morning.
Veteran James Mackie stood out among the youthful and experienced in the CHB equation.
In the final, CHB were glad to see their Central Districts Stags pair of Blair Tickner and Joshua Clarkson return from their successful one-day Ford Trophy semifinal campaign in New Plymouth.
"It was a good final and it went down to the last over," said Thompson after the runners-up required 13 runs but Tickner showed why he is the country's best seamer in domestic cricket this season.
"We need someone of his experience to rely on to make sure they didn't get that 13," he said with a grin, mindful the bumper crowd cheered every boundary Taradale found.
"It was good to have good crowd support here."
Taradale welcomed the injection of the CD pair.
"You know, it was great fun against those guys and fantastic to see them drop down to this level to play because it's very good for the competition," said Taradale skipper Luke Kenworthy.
"We weren't close enough but it was an awesome game of cricket, really," Kenworthy said, chuffed to see CHB spoil NTOB's party with a 65-run victory.
Taradale had earned straight entry into the final by virtue of topping the table.
Thompson said they had done the job on the Texans without Clarkson and Tickner.
"They got in about lunch time but we had to win the game this morning to play in the final," said Thompson, after the Stags walloped the Auckland Aces by seven wickets at Pukekura Park on Saturday.
"They [NTOB] were definitely the favourites but we applied big pressure on them when we were bowling," he said, after CHB stifled the National Club Knockout Cup contenders for 121/9 in 20 overs in their run chase to eclipse 186/3.
CHB coach Daniel Drepaul pointed out his side had won nine games in T20, after sharing the spoils in the T20 tourney with Onslow CC last October, with just one loss.
"Train's hard because some of the boys live in Hastings and Napier so I turn up at Lindisfarne College and we train there and back in Ongaonga on Thursdays but we're doing well," he said, singling out his club's committee for all the hard work they put in.
Kenworthy lauded No4 batsman Dean Foxcroft for showing his class at the weekend with a match-winning unbeaten century (114) against CHB in the MJF Shrimpton Cup 50-over competition on Saturday and then backing it up with 70 runs off 41 balls, including seven boundaries and two sixes, on a strike rate of 170.73 yesterday in the T20 final.
"He got us so close [yesterday] against some of the [CD] bowlers which showed how good he is," he said of the South African import player.
Kenworthy said Clarkson's 83 runs from 55 deliveries, including six boundaries and five sixes, reflected the domestic cricketer's experience which bolstered the champions' innings.
CD batsman Jesse Ryder was at the park as well but would have arrived to late to help NTOB in their quest for another bumper season this summer.