AN EMOTIONAL rollercoaster swept Brierly-Christ Church as the club's wait for a division one premiership ended under unique circumstances on Tuesday.
The Bulls - who finished first overall - were crowned premiers and champions as the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association cancelled all three grand finals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The WDCA board ruled Brierly-Christ Church would join East Warrnambool (division two) and Wesley-CBC (division three) as premiers after finishing first in the season proper.
Brierly-Christ Church skipper Matthew Love said his side was preparing for its grand final bout against Woodford this weekend when the news broke.
"(Coach Jason Mungean) had the call as we were getting ready for a training session. It was good that we were all together when we heard," Love said.
"The boys were all in pretty good spirits. There's no doubt it was in unique circumstances but it was a really good reflection of the season (the premiership).
"We made sure everyone felt they were a deserved winner. It's a situation that is probably never going to happen again with the timing of it."
Love said Brierly-Christ Church cancelled training and had a low-key celebration at its East Warrnambool clubrooms upon hearing the verdict.
"Before it was announced I was reading up on what other associations were doing. I saw the advice Cricket Australia put out (to cancel) and I was going through all kinds of emotions," he said.
"There was a bit of frustration and anger at the coronavirus situation and thoughts of it being a hollow sort of way to win a flag.
"But when it became official, the main emotion was elation. I thought 'we do deserve this'.
But when it became official, the main emotion was elation. I thought 'we do deserve this'.Matthew Love
"We're two games clear on top and we felt we had a very strong semi-final win over West Warrnambool."
Love lauded the Bulls' suite of contributors and was delighted to secure the premiership for the club's supporter base.
"It was great to get it for the supporters and the past players. We have a very good base of past players still involved with the club," he told The Standard.
"It's very special. It was interesting to see some of the reactions (on Tuesday).
"We also have current players like Nathan Murphy who have been around for a long time and who understand the history of the club."
While victories flowed - Love's team lost just one season proper match and both the Twenty20 and one-day grand finals - the first-year skipper praised its resilience.
"It can be flattening, coming off a loss in a final like that," he said.
"But the boys came back week-in, week-out and focused on the game at hand.
"We spoke a lot about not getting too far ahead of ourselves and I think that's hardest when you have secured a finals spot early in the season.
"The biggest challenge was to just keep focusing on the next game at hand."
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