FIRST TASTE OF VICTORY: Cronulla Sharks captain (centre) celebrates the NRL premiership title with fans yesterday.
FIRST TASTE OF VICTORY: Cronulla Sharks captain (centre) celebrates the NRL premiership title with fans yesterday. Brendon Thorne

2016 brings a flood of drought-breaking wins

GOOD things come to those who wait.

Cronulla Sharks fans had been waiting 50 years for a maiden title and they finally got to celebrate when their side defeated the Melbourne Storm in the NRL grand final.

But many should have seen it coming considering the sporting trend that has gone through 2016.

Going into the NRL season the Sharks had the longest title drought in the NRL having not claimed a title since the club's inaugural season in 1967.

The wait had been even longer in the AFL where the Western Bulldogs entered the 2016 season having last won a title in 1954.

On Saturday the Bulldogs ended their 62-year drought with a resounding victory over the Sydney Swans.

Earlier this year, Leicester City won the English Premier League title for the first time in the club's 132-year history.

The Cleveland Cavaliers claimed their first title in 46 years after beating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals.

The Hurricanes won their maiden Super Rugby title, after previously losing two finals, with a convincing victory over the Lions in Wellington.

Portugal, meanwhile, claimed its first ever major football title by beating France in the European Championship final, 95 years after the nation's first international fixture.

It's a good omen for the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs have the longest active title drought in American sports, having last won baseball's World Series in 1908.

They go into the playoffs with the best record in baseball.

The Sharks had lost their four previous grand final appearances.

The club first made a grand final in 1973, going down to Manly 10-7. Cronulla lost to Manly once again in 1978 when a grand final replay was needed after the first grand final ended 11-all. Manly won the rematch 16-0 three days later in a Tuesday replay.

The Sharks' only other grand final was in the 1997 Super League where they lost 26-8 to Brisbane.

The Warriors and the Titans are the only NRL sides yet to claim their maiden premiership titles while the longest active title drought in the NRL is now with the Parramatta Eels who last won the competition in 1986.

With the exception of the Canberra Raiders (1994), Warriors and Titans, every other team has won a title since 2001.

They do droughts better in the AFL, though.

With the Bulldogs finally winning again the longest title drought now goes to the Melbourne Demons who last won a title in 1964 while St Kilda's only premiership came in 1966.

Sporting title droughts ended in 2016:

132 years - Leicester City (EPL)

95 years - Portugal (International football)

62 years - Western Bulldogs (AFL)

49 years - Cronulla Sharks (NRL)

46 years - Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)

20 years - Hurricanes (Super Rugby)