Back-to-back for Sydenham-Hillside

Sydenahm-Hillside’s Alston Bobb. (Shawn Smits) 206365_01

Tara Murray

Sydenham-Hillside has made it back-to-back premierships in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association.

After winning the division 4 title last season, the Storm made an instant impact in division 3, claiming the minor premiership.

After winning through to the grand final, the Storm claimed a first innings win on day two against Williamstown Imperials.

That would prove to be enough, with the second week of the grand final called off due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

While they had claimed a first innings result and finished minor premiers, it was still a nervous wait until the premiership was confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Storm first XI player and president Warren Hackney said while they were confident they would be announced premiers they were still nervous.

“You never know how these things will play out,” he said.

“We were quite nervous until we got the word from the association and we were relieved and excited.”

Hackney said early in the week they had been preparing for the game to go ahead.

He said it had been a challenge to try and keep everyone focused.

“We had to remain focused,” he said.

“We were going to have to try and get a second innings result, if we needed it.”

He said the focus late in the season to ensure that they finished as high as possible on the ladder, had also paid off, giving them home finals.

Having won a premiership just 12 months ago, Hackney said there was a different feeling this time round.

Last time they had to dig deep on day four to get the trophy.

He said they had no doubt they deserved this one just as much.

“It doesn’t feel like a hollow victory.”

The premiership is the Storm’s second first XI premiership in four seasons in the VTCA.

Hackney said while they were hopeful of moving up the grades relatively quickly, they had exceeded all expectations.

Next season they will play in division 2.

“We’ve now wriggled our way up two grades and progressing along nicely,” he said.

“We’re just embracing the challenge and climbing up the ranks of the VTCA.

“We hope it will continue.”