Storm to come back better

Adrian Neill (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Tara Murray

Sydenham-Hillside is proud in defeat but is wondering what might have been after the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division grand final.

Playing in its first season in the top grade, the Storm won through to the decider against Deer Park, which was in the same spot 12 months earlier.

The Lions showed their strength across the last two weekends to seal their first senior division premiership.

Storm coach Warren Hackney had mixed feelings after the game.

“I’m really proud to get to that point of being a senior division grand final,” he said.

“You know, it’s been the top two sides in the whole of the VTCA, it’s a huge achievement for a club that came in at entry level, seven or eight years ago.

“We’re really proud of how far we’ve come but still a bit of bitter swallow because when you make it to these games to you want to do well and you want to put your best foot forward and unfortunately, we’re out classed and it just gives us here the driver I think now to to want to try and push ahead and make amends and and go on better.”

The Storm needed early runs on Saturday if it was any chance of pushing the Lions.

It resumed at 8-141 still well behind the Lions first innings of 225.

It didn’t take long for the Storm’s innings to be over, bowled out for 157, and giving the Lions a first innings lead.

Skipper Anthony Alleyne top scored with 84 not out.

Hackney said they didn’t get enough out of their batting across the whole game.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the runs we wanted out of our bats in this game felt our bowlers toiled pretty hard and worked their butts off,” he said.

“It just didn’t go away for about his unfortunately and it’s a shame because they’ve performed so well over the course of the season and they deserve to be able to show their skills off a little bit.”

“Their batting depth got us in the end. To have them 6-100 in the second dig and for their eight, nine and 10 come in and put on another 100-150 runs.

“That was the difference in the game.”

The Lions were bowled out for 265 in their second innings. Stefon King and Adrian Neill took three wickets each.

It left the Lions needing 334 for victory. The Storm attacked from the start and with wickets fell and the side slipped to 9-75.

Number 11 Tim Grech (17 not out) and Neill (30) fought hard and add some respectability to the total with the last partnership.

The Storm was eventually bowled out for 121.

Hackney said they would look at what Deer Park did the past 12 months to see how they can take the next step.

“We’ve just got to take the learnings from it and apply them as we I think we have done pretty consistently over the last six or seven years,” he said