SORE from four gruelling days of cricket, across two weekends, Mount Clear captain Nathan Yates said it felt “sweet” to finally pull on a premiership medallion.
Yates said it was the toughest and tightest match he had played all season, keeping his Mounties undefeated from 14 games this Ballarat Cricket Association firsts season and ending in a seven-run victory against Brown Hill.
The Mounties skipper nabbed the winning wicket himself in a 6-55 haul as the Bulls launched a legendary chase in the second innings.
This season marked Yates, a dual EJ Cleary medallist, in his return to Ballarat Cricket from Geelong club Lara.
He did so to coach the Mounties with close friend Lincoln Blake as his captain.
Blake was called away for work early in the summer and was the first person Yates called to relay the Mounties’ triumph.
All season the Mounties have established a reputation with each player capable – and proven – in standing up to help win matches.
That was how they won this rollercoaster final.
“We always knew it wasn’t over after they were in a handy position overnight (Saturday night) and we were probably up against it (yesterday),” Yates said.
“That was the tightest test we’ve had all year.
“We’re undefeated. Each week every player has been turning up and playing his role.”
The captain spent the week between play – the Mounties held a 134-run lead after stumps on day two – contemplating what needed to be done next.
All finals the Mounties maintained it had been business as usual about training with four teams reaching grand finals.
The Mounties netted the firsts, seconds and third premierships.
Mounties president Anthony Tigchelaar said it was a fantastic achievement for the club.
“I’m hoping it goes to show our strengths as a top team,” Tigchelaar said.
“We’re thankful for the support we’ve had over six days, semi-finals included, from our families and the public – it’s tremendous for Ballarat cricket.”
Tigchelaar spent the fourth day of the firsts final pacing the boundary, telling players after the match it was great so many people wanted to talk to him about the game, but really he was so nervous the whole time – almost tearing up as he congratulated the playing group in emotional scenes in the rooms.