Mark Curry says "you never forget those games", Michael Hill reckons playing in a historic tie was the only thing any closer and Paul Marjoribanks admits "this one would be up there".
The trio were referring to the 2020-21 Newcastle District Cricket Association first-grade final between Wests and Belmont at Harker Oval on Good Friday and Easter Saturday.
Deciders like that don't come along very often.
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Wests (9-108) eventually defeated Belmont (107) by one wicket, but both teams were forced to fight back from seemingly lost situations and a result remained up in the air until the last moment.
Belmont were 7-37 and rallied to get past a three-figured total before reducing Wests to an even more precarious position of 7-24 just 24 hours later.
Wests captain and man-of-the-match James King proved the difference with an unbeaten 68, hitting the winning runs, and a partnership of 35 for the 10th wicket alongside No.11 Stewart Morgan.
Curry - a winner of multiple NDCA premierships, a seven-time player of the year and Australian Country Championships hall of famer - remembers "close finals" but "nothing like that game".
"It was an amazing game," Curry said.
"It's one of the best ones [finals] I can remember. Other ones can be fairly straight forward.
"But it looked like Belmont were dead and buried. Then it looked like Wests were dead and buried.
"That was a fantastic innings from James King."
Hill - a NSW representative, NDCA life member and premiership winner at three different clubs - also rated highly King's performance.
Hill played for Merewether against Wallsend (164) in the tied showdown of 1969-70.
"Over the years there have been many close finals. The majority of those have been low scoring, which isn't unusual with the tension of a final," Hill said.
NDCA chairman Marjoribanks described the most recent encounter as a "gripping" affair and one that was "really enjoyable to watch".
"It had a number of 90 degree turns played in front of a pretty good crowd which added to the theatre," Marjoribanks said.
In 2015-16, Merewether won a fifth decider in a row when they accounted for Hamilton-Wickham by one run in the first innings and then held on by 23 in the second, which saw the last hour played on a third day.
Delving into the NDCA centenary book, written by George Piggford after the 1987-88 season, there are several notable finals.
In 1980-81, Belmont beat Stockton after an unbroken last-wicket stand of 28.
In 1972-73, Wallsend overcame Hamwicks by one wicket after surviving a dropped catch when scores were level at 267.
In 1955-56, when deciders were played until a result was reached over two innings, Hamilton (61, 247) claimed a record sixth straight title by edging out Western Lakes (206, 99) by three runs. The premiers took 3-2 to finish the match.
In 1937-38, Wickham (278, 118) fell one run shy of Waratah (235, 162) chasing 120 for victory.
After stumps on the weekend King said "it's not like a game I've ever played in before". Morgan reckons "it's the best game of cricket I've played in".
Belmont skipper Marcus Hainsworth, although disappointed to fall just short of the title, said "it was a good game of cricket".
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