Centrals' all-rounder Fletcher Rose couldn't be prouder of his troops in the wake of Friday's T20 Royal Hotel Cup loss to St Pat's Old Boys, the four-wicket defeat coming after 39 overs of tightly contested action.
Rose's goal coming into the tilt was always to win but given the side's recent results in the format, to go down the way they did against one of the competition's top-tier teams, well that's a win in itself.
Rose was best on ground for Centrals as he scored 58 of the 121 runs in the opening innings but unfortunately for the red and blacks, they couldn't stop the surge of St Pat's Old Boys after the break as Adam Ryan (26) led the comeback.
"I'm incredibly proud of the Centrals boys," Rose said
"To show this much improvement after where we were last year just shows we've got a different attitude this season.
"They (St Pat's Old Boys) would be one of the best teams in the Royal Hotel Cup right now and for them to take 19 overs to win... well, that's a great credit to our bowling attack."
Centrals will take the utmost confidence from the narrow defeat into the rest of the schedule and Rose is certain his side can compete with anyone.
"If we can maintain the form we started with on Friday we're very confident we can make a statement this season," he said.
While he's proud of the efforts, Rose admits the batting order could have scored a produced more runs as the total wasn't quite big enough to get over the line.
"We could have produced some more runs but when you look back at it, it just came down to whoever turned up up," he said. "Pa's have a lot more short form experience than what Centrals do and they had the compuse to keep batting through and back themselves."
It doesn't get any easier for Centrals as their next clash will be against City Colts on December 11 at Wade Park. St Pat's Old boys sit atop pool B with a pair of wins.
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