NAPOLEONS-SEBASTOPOL captain-coach Sara Cavanagh was proud in the way her team went down fighting.
Momentum changed dramatically through play in the Victorian Women’s Cricket Association premier seconds semi-final.
In the end, momentum was in Coburg’s favour.
The Burgers eclipsed Naps-Sebas’ 117-run tally with eight balls to play and two wickets in hand on Napoleons turf.
Naps-Sebas’ bid for a fourth consecutive flag was severed.
Cavanagh said it was a great game of cricket, and an exciting one to take part in as a player.
“It was a good game, an awesome semi-final,” Cavanagh said.
“It was not a bad way to finish the season. If you’re going to lose, you want it to be a good game.
“We’ve had a fantastic season, a season to be proud of, with some really good wins.”
Naps-Sebas netted the club’s first Twenty20 title a fortnight ago against the division overall leader Brighton District. It all came down to one stubborn wicket against Coburg.
Both teams suffered top-order obliterations.
Naps-Sebas was two wickets down with just two runs on the board and struggled to find momentum, despite 19 runs from number three bat Sasha Peers.
Then youngster Emma Lynch stepped up to the crease.
Lynch took up the bat with Naps-Sebas at 4-23 and put on 31 runs, the bulk made in a 45-run stand with Karen Casey for the sixth wicket.
Fellow young gun Summer Dehnert helped boost the Naps-Sebas tally with 16 runs in the lower order.
Naps-Sebas was back in the game when it had pinned Coburg at 5-23.
Only it struggled to dislodge the ‘Burgers’ tail.
“As captain, I really enjoyed the game. I had to really think and chop and change things about all the time,” Cavanagh said.
“We just couldn’t get that last breakthrough wicket. We were mixing up the bowling and trying different things ... it was a taxing game, mentally, but a really good game to play.”
Internationally experienced opening bowler Briony Polkinghorne nabbed 4-21 and bowled three maidens in a lean nine overs.
Polkinghorne and Beth Taylor (2-24) were instrumental in causing Coburg’s early collapse.
Cavanagh said her team’s promising young players were fairly upset with the loss, but already plotting how the team could improve next season – a pleasing sign for Naps’ seasoned performers.