South Canterbury player-coach Nick Horsley was full of praises for his team after their come-from-behind victory over Mid Canterbury in their opening Southern Zone Hawke Cup match in Timaru.
The side were well off the boil in the first innings and looked a long way behind their opponents but Horsley said mental toughness and player responsibility resulted in a quick turnaround.
“Things weren’t looking good for us, we had been comprehensively outplayed and were staring down the barrel of a big defeat before the guys quickly took notice and stood up,” he said.
He said it was most pleasing that everyone played a part in the win.
“At some stage throughout the game everyone was involved and played their part in helping us being able to push for victory.”
Horsley felt South Canterbury’s superb fielding performance across the two days was the turning point.
“I think we fielded really well and that turned out to be the difference, there was no weakness in the field and we took some really good catches.”
A number of players would have gone out in South Canterbury’s second turn in the field and just cruised along, but Horsley’s side was not one.
“We’ve been training really hard and well and to see that come off in the game was fantastic.”
Sam Carlaw played a crucial knock in the side’s second innings to get the team home.
“That was a fantastic innings by Sam, he really led from the front and that’s what we wanted from him and a number of other batsmen really stood up as well which was superb to see.”
Another highlight for Horsley was the maturity shown by debutant Stanley Mair and allrounder Jack Harper.
“All the bowlers apart from Craig [Hinton] were all over the place in the first innings but the way Stan came out in the second innings and bowled showed a lot of courage and Jack was the same.”
The key for the side now is to keep up that mental toughness now despite a five week break before their next match.
“North Otago will be very tough in Oamaru and we will need to play like we did in the second innings here to be competitive with them.”
Horsley said it was fantastic for the side to win a match from the position they were in and they should take a lot from it.