BELMONT captain Marcus Hainsworth knows it was a "good game of cricket" and remains proud his side rallied to make such an enthralling contest, but it still "hurts" to be on the other end of a grand final result having been so agonisingly close to victory.
Hainsworth rode a rollercoaster of emotions at Harker Oval across Friday and Saturday.
Belmont collapsed to be 7-35 early on day one, didn't lose a wicket in the second session and finished with 107 before leaving Wests 3-17 overnight.
The visitors took 4-7 straight up on day two and then had the Rosellas 9-73, dreaming of a title that seemed almost impossible just 24 hours earlier.
"It just ebbed and flowed, I reckon I had a victory speech said 10 times and a losing speech said 20 times," Hainsworth said.
However, it was Wests who lifted the Newcastle District Cricket Association trophy after an unbeaten 35-run partnership between opposition skipper James King (68) and No.11 Stewart Morgan (1).
Belmont finished just one wicket away from the 2020-21 premiership.
"It hurts, no doubt about it. But we had enough balls at them, we had enough chances to win that final," Hainsworth said.
"It was lost at 7-37 in our performance. We didn't get enough runs, it was as simple as that."
In summing up during his post-match speech, Hainsworth said "we surprised a lot of teams along the way, today and yesterday was no different. We fell just short, but we had an extraordinary year and should be happy with what we achieved. It's still bittersweet not to get the final result in the end."
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