Far North end drought to bring Shield home
THERE were no swashbuckling centuries or eight-wicket hauls.
It took a good, honest, all-round effort for the Fred Jacobsen Shield to return to the Far North for the first time in more than 14 years on the weekend.
The Far North squad beat both Central Queensland and Mackay Whitsundays in one-day contests in Mackay on the weekend.
That followed on from their two-day defeat of Tropical a fortnight ago and meant they easily finished on top of the pile for the first time since 1998.
Throughout the campaign the workload has been shared, something stand-in skipper Brenton Edwards was quick to point out.
"It was a real team effort and it was a real joy to be in charge of this team," he said.
Edwards hit the winning runs against Mackay yesterday as they chased down the small total.
He said that feeling, and holding the trophy aloft, was hard to beat.
"It felt pretty good. We probably rubbed it in Townsville's faces a bit because they thought we'd choke (after beating them)," Edwards said.
"It's great to show that we're back and a force in cricket again and everyone is doing it for the right reasons."
On Saturday they failed to capitalise on a solid foundation, being forced to defend 212 against CQ.
And it looked in the bag early when they had them 4-18, until a late order rally put CQ back in charge.
But Linden March broke the partnership and they took a 16-run win.
Yesterday's win came easily as opening bowler Luke Parnell again started off with an early wicket, before his brother Dan and fellow spinner Mick Salerno both grabbed two to restrict Mackay to 115.
Their victory follows years of mixed results and hard fortune, but has not come about by chance.
"Their success is a credit to the processes we've put in place and a credit to high performance coach Ash Hammond," CFN president Greg O'Neill said.
"Since May they've been working hard and they really have embraced the culture change we tried to put in place."
Opening batsman Gerard Fox, spinner Mick Salerno and all-rounders Brenton Edwards and Linden March have all been selected in the North Queensland team.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
New culture: The victorious Far North squad savour success after winning their first Fred Jacobsen Shield since 1998.