The pain of grand final defeat will eventually subside once Point Cook reviews the entirety of its Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 3 season.
The emotion stemming from the Warriors’ nine-wicket loss to Sunshine in the season decider at Dempster Park is raw.
But the day will come when they can be proud of what they have achieved this summer.
Warriors player-coach Aaron Whear was understandably disappointed not to get his hands on the flag, but he can put it into perspective when he reflects on how far the side has come.
“When I took on the coaching job a couple of years ago, the club had been struggling for a couple of years,” Whear said.
“On paper, it’s the most successful season the club has had from a turf cricket perspective to make a grand final in that calibre of competition.
“All in all, you look at our win-loss ratio, it’s been an extremely successful year.
“We just couldn’t get over the last hurdle against a very good calibre of opposition.”
Whear can see the ultimate glory on the horizon for Point Cook and is urging the Warriors to present a united front in the bid to go one step better next season.
“It was our first VTCA first XI grand final,” Whear said. “It’s a massive learning experience for the club. I hope the great majority of the side can stick together and we can have another crack at it next year.”
Point Cook will reflect on one bad day of cricket as its undoing in the four-day grand final.
The Warriors wilted under pressure with the bat on day one, bowled out for a dismal 81.
It was always going to be a tough ask to come back after such a tiny first-innings total.
Sunshine, led by man of the match Asela Aluthge’s 117, posted 216 for a lead of 135 runs.
While they were on the ropes, the Warriors refused to accept a knockout blow.
They became just the second side all summer to reach triple figures against the star-studded Sunshine bowling attack, posting 166.
Harpreet Singh was the cornerstone to the innings with 61, while captain Brett Talbot (38) and Owen Doolan (25) made runs in the tail.
It gave the Warriors a 31-run lead – not enough to cause a worry for Sunshine.
The Crows passed the target one down in just 4.5 overs, with their captain, Troy Stone, leading the way with 29 not out.
“We didn’t roll over by any means,” Whear said. “I’m very proud of the way they fought it out.”
If Point Cook’s first-innings failure did not consign them to defeat, a soggy ground on day three did.
The Warriors lost 38 overs in the match, which forced them to play a little more recklessly in the second innings.
“We needed to make enough runs to set a target and also have enough overs to bowl them out,” Whear said.
“Once all those overs got taken out of the game, that made the task extremely difficult.
“Full credit to Sunshine – they were a fantastic side all year and they clearly outplayed us in the game.”
MORE VTCA NEWS