Former Australia One-Day International representative turned First-Grade coach and player Peter Forrest, is being hailed as the man who instilled the hunger and determination required for Mosman Cricket Club to end an 83-year premiership drought.
The 36-year-old made the switch from the Hawkesbury Hawks to the Mosman Whales at the beginning of the 2020/21 NSW Premier Cricket competition, and in only two seasons has turned a mid-to-bottom of the table first-grade side into Belvidere Cup Champions.
Forrest’s speech on day 3 of the NSW Premier Cricket first-grade grand-final at Bankstown Oval – when he encouraged his players, his teammates, to back themselves as Northern District, the competition’s benchmark for the entire summer appear to be within reach of chasing down Mosman’s total – summed up the fighting spirit he instilled in his players.
“Believe we can win,” he urged. “We’re here, in this final, just like them. Any team can win. Expect this game to come down to the final hour.”
The last time Mosman had played in a Belvidere Cup Final – in 1996 – not even the collective talents of Australia internationals Brett and Shane Lee could steer them home.
Despite their underdog status, the Mosman players weren’t short on self-belief. NSW batsman Lachlan Hearne had earlier set the Whales up with a defendable total of 300 runs, adding 144 of those himself in what NSW Premier Cricket statisticians are regarding as one of the best grand final innings to date.
Back to day three, there’s a dark cloud cover and a brisk wind sweeping Bankstown Oval. The Mosman Whales have just run out onto the field with the hope of claiming the final six wickets required for victory.
Only a few overs in, Mosman quick Jake Turner ripped one down the pitch, finding the edge of NSW under-19 Metropolitan captain Lachlan Shaw’s stick, sending him back to the changerooms for just four runs.
The match would regain a level of balance as Sydney Thunder star Chris Green composed an innings of pure class, before being trapped in front for 80 runs.
A few more wickets fell and suddenly Northern District found themselves nine-down and needing 21 runs or just 6 overs to hold out to force a draw.
After a couple of overs of back-and-forth, the man of the moment who would later be awarded the Benaud Medal as Player of the Final for his five-wicket haul, Jake Turner, would finally break the resilient Northern District tail-end, by taking the game-winning wicket of Daniel Anderson, who had batted extremely well for just over 6 hours, 243 deliveries and 72 runs.
It was elation for the Whales. Fans, players, coaches, the lot, ran out on the field to celebrate the title.
The celebrations ran late into the night with plenty of memorable speeches.
Skipper Nathan Hinton was stunned to be congratulated by a familiar face – former Australian captain Allan Border. He wanted to celebrate the end of an 83-year-long drought.
Speaking to the General Manager of Cricket at Mosman Cricket Club after the match, Warwick Adlam, he described the winning moment as “Extraordinary. Fulfilling. Euphoric. Words don’t do it justice, mate”.
Two incredible grand final performances have entered the club’s book of lore.
The hard hitting quick pushed out 42 overs. 252 deliveries that resulted in 5 wickets including the crucial final pole of Daniel Anderson. A match-winning performance that earned him the Benaud Medal as Player of the Final.
Came to the crease at 1/17 and batted throughout the remainder of the Mosman innings. Finished on 144 after facing 336 deliveries over the course of 7 hours. Set Mosman a very defendable total of 300.
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