Grant Morgan believes the Hollywoodbets Dolphins are on the path to success after what he termed a satisfactory 2017/18 season for the KwaZulu-Natal franchise.
The Durban-based outfit reached both domestic limited-overs finals this past year, with their big high coming in the form of a shared Momentum One-Day Cup title with the Warriors.
Even though they also managed to get into the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge decider, the match itself was a massive disappointment as the Morgan’s charges failed to pitch.
They were eventually heavily beaten by a near-invincible Multiply Titans team.
“I have to say yes (it was a successful season),” reflected the Dolphins coach. “For any team that two seasons ago lost (David) Miller, (Kyle) Abbott, (Ryan) McLaren, (Cameron) Delport, (Jonathan) Vandiar and the list goes on of quality players that have left….and from there you’ve got yourself into a position where you made two finals.
“People forever analyse our T20 season and talk about the rain. But what if the rain didn’t come? You know how difficult it was to play on and off with all the rain, win the key games and still reach the final. It was tough.
“And for a long period of time we were dominant in the 50 over competition.
“To bounce back from that disappointment against what probably was one of the strongest domestic sides in the country in the last decade…that Titans side in the T20 final with AB de Villiers and all those guys.
“And to come back the way we did into a 50-over campaign and go on to share the trophy. To have the mental fortitude not to crumble, to fight back the way we did was superb.”
It was a good showing by the Dolphins as they clinched a first one-day title of the franchise era, albeit a shared one.
Their last 50-over success was way back in 2001/02, while their last trophy overall was the 20-over title won back in 2013/14.
However, the one part of the season that was a bit of a let-down was the way their Sunfoil Series campaign panned out.
They had been in the mix throughout the competition, before eventually ending fifth.
Morgan admitted it was not ideal. “The disappointing thing for me will probably be the red ball campaign where we never really got on to the front foot but we still managed to show fantastic character to fight back from tough positions,” he stated.
“We did some phenomenal things from the dead and that was really positive. It was satisfactory I would say to end the season the way we did.”
The Dolphins coach admits they “still have a long way to go” in their quest to be even more competitive, but added: “Hopefully we’ll be able to build on this season in the next year.”