Cricket North's 2020-21 season came to a thrilling end last month as minor premier Launceston edged out Riverside in the grand final.
In the first of a series of reviews, The Examiner looks over the season that was for Mowbray.
Season in a nutshell: Played 14, won 2, drew 2, lost 10.The Eagles lost experienced ex-skipper John LeFevre to Hadspen, but began to reap some rewards of their rebuild.
James Storay's side recorded an extra win, a better net run rate and fewer big losses than last season and will be confident of growing again in 2021-22.
Team highlight: The Eagles saved their best performances for their best opposition and recorded victories over both of last season's grand finalists.
Skipper Luke Scott willed his side to victory over Westbury in the Make Runs Maxi Shield and did the business again in a last-round win over South Launceston.
The Eagles also came within two wickets of downing eventual premier Launceston.
Team lowlight: A slow start to two-day cricket saw the Eagles concede an outright loss to Launceston and be dismissed for two figures against Westbury in the following game.
Individual performance: Scott posted his maiden century in the last-round win over South and wasn't content to stop there.
Only two players in the past 13 A-grade seasons - Mark Nutting (200*) and Dane Anderson (189, 182) - have made bigger totals than Scott's unbeaten 178, which was only ended by an enforced declaration.
What worked: Scott and Storay, who has stepped down as coach but will play on next campaign, led from the front all season.
Storay finished as the league's leading wicket-taker with 29 wickets at 15.41 while Scott made 637 runs at 53.08.
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What didn't work: The Eagles remain in need of another established batsman to support Scott. Jason Snare and Spencer Hayes both made important knocks at times, although the latter spent most of the season with Raiders.
Spinner Sam Freeman didn't take the wickets he would have liked with the ball, but was economical and contributed in a new role batting higher up the order.
Best recruit: Nicky Smith was the sole recruit to line up in maroon.
The paceman played a handful of games and picked up a useful 2-28 off 10 in the Westbury win before returning to the mainland midway through the season.
Surprise packet: Jonty Nicolson looks to be a player for the future after making several handy scores as a 15-year-old. A maiden A-grade 50 late in the season against Riverside was the pick of his knocks.
Best and fairest: The Eagles will hold their presentation night on Saturday, with Scott and Storay the clear frontrunners.
Coach says: I think we made significant ground this year to be perfectly honest.
We blooded a young kid in Jonty Nicolson and the way that panned out paid dividends.
To come in and bat the way he did in some difficult situations for seasoned A-grade cricketers ... he did it quite well - the way he batted against Riverside to save the outright was what stood out most to me.
Even someone like Scotty who has played quite a lot of A-grade cricket now, I think the way he evolved his game was pleasing both as a captain and as a batsman, so there's lots of positives.
I think as a whole we're moving in the direction we want to and had we closed out a few games in A-grade that we probably should have won, it probably paints a different picture - we're really close to finals or we're playing finals.
Myself and Yab [Clinton Reid] and pretty rapt with the way the A-grade cricketers played and from all reports everyone's sticking around and going together again which is what we're looking to do.
Hopefully [we] pick up a few along the way and that'll develop the off-field culture we want, which is a tight group of mates that want to play together.
We're not going in blind with what we're doing - as a coaching group we've got a clear path on how we want to get there and we feel that the way we're going now is the way we've planned to get there.
It's going to take a little bit more time, but hopefully next year we can - through a good pre-season - close out a few of those closer games and see what happens.