Genuine belief in sport is a powerfully underrated commodity.
It has the ability to take skill out of the equation at times and the ability to make something seemingly happen from nothing.
For newly crowned South West Cricket division one premiers Heytesbury Rebels, it came to the fore on the biggest stage of them all on Saturday.
It was a gritty and absorbing grand final contest against minor premiers Mortlake, but ultimately the Rebels rejoiced with a 32-run victory against the Cats.
Pressure was evident with the ball for the Cats who bowled first, sending down superb lines and areas to the Rebels while also taking their catches to immediately have the opposition on edge.
Rebels player-coach Simon Harkness, skipper Joel Moriarty (30) and opener Tom Hunt (22) battled hard but a golden spell from Lachlan Higginson (3-26), impenetrable areas from Clint Baker (1-15) and some crafty work from skipper Todd Robertson (0-24) proved hot to handle and suddenly the scoreline read 5-76.
Not dire straights, but with plenty of work to do.
Enter the hard-hitting Sam Hickey.
Knowing that anything under 150 would simply not be enough, the middle order batter took the game on, hit some crisp boundaries and put the pressure back on the bowlers - classical counter-attacking batting.
It was a knock of significant substance and one which garnered momentum. It will be an innings spoken about for years to come.
From a scorecard that looked to at one stage struggle to reach 120 suddenly became 181 from their 50 overs, with Hickey contributing a brilliant 54 from 59 balls.
Despite the Cats' best efforts to keep ahead, in particularly with a rattling start in the chase, pressure, shrewd captaincy and some uncharacteristic errors ultimately brought about their downfall.
Brody Mahoney's spell of 4-19 was particularly destructive, removing Corey Rounds, the dangerous Will Kain who batted superbly for 30 and the last two wickets - both arrow-straight full balls that cannoned into the stumps.
The Cats fell for 149 as scenes of emotion overcome the Rebels in the middle of the sunbaked pitch.
Rebels skipper Joel Moriarty was blown away for words in the aftermath but praised his group for their resilience, particularly Sam Hickey.
"The key to our side is how deep we are although it hasn't been called upon every week, but for Sammy to come out and do what he did was incredible," he told The Standard.
"It was a bit of a circuit breaker to be honest, we needed someone to go out there and play that aggressive innings.
"I thought 180 to 190 was great and I was confident with that - it gives you that extra advantage."
The second-year skipper said he had full confidence his bowlers could back up Hickey's work.
"It's not arrogant to say, I was confident, I just think our bowlers are sensational especially on a turf like this which rewards bowlers.
"We were always wary of Mortlake's firepower, but I was always confident in our bowling group."
Moriarty - who also took a sensational diving catch to remove the dangerous Jake Lehmann for 27 - said the win was significant for him personally.
"It means everything, it's what you want to do," he said.
"Last year we lost to Mortlake in a semi and as a captain and an individual I was gutted.
"I've said it a lot, I got given the keys to a Ferrari, I'm the leader of the team on a Saturday but we've got a team of sensational individual talent, we've got so many strengths."
Emotion was evident all over the face of man of the match Hickey as he took a deep breath and a sip of beer to reflect on his performance.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," he said.
"It's an amazing club effort - I'm 36 with a couple of young kids and I thought I was done, I played at Allansford for 10 years, I came back out to Heytesbury, I grew up in Timboon, just to have a hit in the twos and threes.
"If you had told me at the start of the year I'd be the player of the match in the division one grand final I would have laughed at you.
"It's crazy, just family and friends and what they get out of it is worth more than what it means to me - for the whole club, the family, it means a lot."
Relief was palpable for playing-coach Simon Harkness who said it was the culmination of months and months of dedication.
"There's been a lot of work gone into this, that's for sure," he said.
"You don't always get rewarded but here we are."
The run-machine said posting a strong total after being in a precarious position against a formidable opponent was the most satisfying.
"They're a great team - they used the pitch well and set the game up, but Sammy Hickey played that innings," he said.
"To be honest, nobody would have picked him to do it. I knew he could but not from the opposition's point of view, it's almost like a knife in the back.
"It was a fantastic game of cricket."
Knowing the weapons the Cats possessed with the bat, Harkness said the ability to regularly take scalps was the key.
"Getting regular wickets was important," he said.
"They kept coming, but it was the wickets that were important - had they got through for a 50, 60 run partnership it could of been different.
"I thought we bowled tighter, we just got it done - we took our catches and were good in the field."
In the division two grand final, Simpson (9-246) clinched the premiership with a dominant win against Princetown, with Jay Bowman the star with 94, while Simpson (9-219) also tasted glory in division three with a resounding victory against Noorat (155).
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Sports reporter with The Standard
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