Magnificent Mulgrave clinch third trophy
A STEADY-as-she goes method combined with a touch of class helped Mulgrave to the 40-over CFN premiership on Saturday, meaning they now hold the trophy in all three formats.
Their 60-run victory came after a solid batting performance and disciplined bowling effort.
As has been the theme this year, no one player was outstanding but none was poor.
It is their third straight title, having won the two-day premiership last season and the T20 and 40-over triumphs in 2013.
On a slow outfield boundaries were hard to come by and Mulgrave had to be content with just 7-175 despite a bulk of their top order spending good time at the crease.
Josh Langtree (38) threatened to explode, while Barry Weare (30) got a little fancy when he ramped Mitch Steele for a boundary and Dan Kendrick (21) was again nifty for Mulgrave.
Atherton trio Luke Parnell (2-27), Dan Parnell (2-27) and Grant Volz (2-24) kept things steady but 32 extras, including a massive 20 wides, were gaping wounds for the Tablelanders.
Fired up after some heated exchanges in the first innings, Mulgrave started hot and Shaun Knott dismissed both openers in successive balls to put them on top.
Missing keeper-batsman Gerard Fox, who had not recovered from having his wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday, was a massive blow.
The crucial moment came when their other key figure Fred Pittorino was narrowly run out for 10, going for a third.
That made it 3-29, which soon became 6-59 and all-but game over.
A 32-run last-wicket stand between Mitch Steele (17no) and William Geisel (14) flattered Atherton as they finished all out for 115.
Knott took 2-19, while Jake Roach (3-23), Nev Philp (2-35) and Dan Kendrick (2-24) ran through the middle and lower order.
Mulgrave coach Garry Wilson said the shared effort was reflective of how the club currently operated.
"When I got to the club I wanted to make sure everyone was a part of it," he said.
"That basis is created on the belief that you want to win for each other. That happened last year when we weren't favourites, but won the two-dayer and we've stepped it up this year."
Wilson has an Aussie Rules background, having coached at South Cairns, and admitted those tendencies seeped into his role with Mulgrave.
"A few of the boys have commented on that," he said.
"In the end I don't know the ins and out of cricket like a Barry Weare does.
"But I work on managing people, making training fun, and getting them organised."
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Party time: Mulgrave players celebrate another piece of silverware. Pictures: STEWART McLEAN