Coming into today's game, Josh Trappel was more determined than usual to get a win.
The Central North captain had previously overseen three losses this week, two of which could very easily have been wins had the men in red bowled slightly more consistently and been a little luckier.
But in their second Country Championships game today, against North Coastal at No. 1 Oval, it finally came together.
"It's a complete game, and it makes me feel proud to be a part of the Central North side," Trappel said.
"We've shown over the last three games that we're here to play, and we're definitely competitive and can win these games."
With scores of 17, 84, and 39 for Central North so far this week, Trappel had led from the front. And he continued that trend under clear blue skies today with 65.
For the first half of that innings, he batted with fellow Maitland product, Steve Abel (51).
The pair's 65-run partnership had the home side cruising at 1-102 after Trappel won the toss and chose to bat first.
"Stevie's been a good cricketer in Maitland for the last couple of years, but probably in the last couple of months, he's showed that he's top-class and can still get to the next level," Trappel said.
After Abel was dismissed, a small stumble ensued, but Adam McGuirk (20) and Tom Fitzgerald (29) helped see Central North through to a formidable total of 252 all out.
Against Newcastle yesterday, there had been some flatness from their bowlers. Overnight, Trappel had asked for more and was immediately rewarded.
Early wickets to Nathan Trindall (3-15), Harrison King (1-16), and Jett Lee (1-25) left North Coastal reeling at 4-35.
"We talked about it as a team last night and this morning how we wanted to tackle the bowling," Trappel said.
"They listened and they executed really well. It was outstanding."
The middle overs were then dominated by spin, as Jye Paterson (3-44) bowled well in tandem with Abel.
"I didn't think I'd be bowling as much as I have," Paterson said.
"We had a spinner get injured, so it's kind of all-hands-on-deck for spin. And the deck's probably been playing pretty well for spin, it's hard to get ahold of."
Having been dismissed at the top of the order for 23 after going for what he described as a "dirty hack", Paterson said it was "nice to get a few [wickets] today".
The Bective East captain helped ensure that North Coastal couldn't recover, and eventually folded for 166 to hand Central North their first win of the Country Championships.
"That there is a complete game from us," Trappel said.
"We all got starts, got 250, and in the bowling, our boys fronted up, got three wickets in the first six overs, and that's exactly how you want to be. I'm really proud."
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