Despite a haphazard team assembled at the last minute, the Kalano Crocs triumphed at the 2021 Alice Springs Imparja Cup.
The week-long tournament saw the Katherine team rise to victory over five games, winning their grand final against Alice Springs team Brothers In Arms.
The Kalano Crocs and Brothers In Arms faced off in the DXC Technology Men's Community Grand Final at Flynn Drive in hot Alice Springs conditions at Flynn Drive Oval on Friday.
Brothers In Arm's Barry Cooke was awarded the Marcus Rosas Community Men's Spirit of Cricket award and the Community Men's MVP, however, with Lachlan Sharpe retiring after 30 runs, leaving the Brothers team finishing on 139 after their 14 overs - the Kalano Crocs' win was within easy reach.
The Kalano Crocs spent no time in chasing down the total with Jordon Cole and Lewis Lampton both forced to retire after making 33 and 32 runs respectively.
It came down to the last over with the Crocs' Captain Kenny Maxwell hitting a four to seal the deal and secure the Katherine team with their win.
Travelling 12 hours to attend the carnival, Maxwell said there was no way the team wasn't coming back without something to show for it.
"We almost didn't go," Maxwell said.
"We'd had a couple of players drop off right at the last minute, so we went down with just three Katherine players and a Darwin player. It was a bit of a gamble, but everyone down there wants to play so we were sure we'd be able to get a team together."
What he wasn't expecting was the Alice Spring's fill-ins to latch on for the entire carnival, playing until the grand final.
"We'd never trained together, never spoken, so it took some adjustments, but it's friends for life now," Maxwell said.
He puts the team's success down to superior communication and batting skills.
"We kept our heads up and had fun with it. The opposing team was good - they batted first and put a good score up - but we came along and made some good runs," Maxwell said.
NT Cricket chief executive Joel Morrison said it was a fantastic week of "celebrating cricket and culture" with 36 teams converging in the Red Centre for both the Imparja Cup and Schools cups.
"A big thank you to the NT Government for their ongoing support of this event, without it the event wouldn't be possible," he said.
"We are also very fortunate to have wonderful support from the Alice Springs Town Council, Taverners NT, Imparja television, Yeperenye Shopping Centre, DXC Technology, Statewide Super, Cricket Australia and NO MORE.
"Building on the wonderful celebration of cricket and culture in the Red Centre, unquestionably the home of Indigenous cricket in Australia, we look forward to the 29th Imparja Cup in 2022."
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