Hampton made it Back to Back Premierships for the first time in the Club’s 106 year victory.
With two games left, Hampton were under threat of relegation. Going into the final round, Hampton sat 6th needing a win over second placed Chelsea and two other results to go its way. As fate would have it Hampton snuck into 4th spot on the VTCA South Division ladder and the rest is now history as Hampton first knocked off the unbeaten McKinnon by 104 runs then comfortably accounted for a quality Chelsea side to send the Club back to Senior Division for the first time since 2008/09.
Below is the match report from the Grand Final.
Having won the toss on what looked to be a perfect batting wicket prepared at Bentleigh, Hampton captain Joe Kenny had no hesitation in sending openers Justin Ferguson and Jon Carpenter out to face the new ball. It was a positive start from Hampton reaching 29 without loss before losing two wickets to be 2/47.
However, these would be Chelsea’s last wickets of the day as Carpenter was joined by the 20 year old Scully who has risen through Hampton’s junior system. Chelsea’s left arm spinner Robbie Lancaster bowled a lot of overs in what was captivating cricket. Carpenter and Scully were measured in their approach knowing they had two full days to bat and when a combination of bad light and rain ended play prematurely, both players had reached half centuries and Hampton were in an imposing position at 2/146.
Day two started well for Hampton before Carpenter was dismissed for 80 with the score at 3/168 ending his partnership with Scully at 121. At 3/ 220 and looking to accelerate to a massive total, Chelsea fought back to have Hampton all out for 293. Only Joe Kenny (35) and Joe Dawborn (19) resisted the collapse in any significant manner.
Hamish Scully was finally dismissed for a classy 118, ensuring him the Man of the Match award. Daniel Bourke doing most of the damage for Chelsea with figures of 5/39. A tricky little session of 19 overs was what Chelsea’s openers were faced with late on Day 2 but some rather flat bowling from the Hampton attack which has been brilliant all season, made the job a little easier. The day finished an over early with Chelsea at 0/28 and certainly back in the game.
On day 3 the Chelsea openers were greeted by a rejuvenated Hampton bowling attack. With Sam Kenny bowling a spell of quality swing bowling and Joe Dawborn bowling with pace and aggression, Chelsea crawled to 37 without loss when Dawborn struck, first claiming the dangerous Perera with an inswinging yorker and then dismissing Thomas the very next ball with a nasty delivery fended off the neck. Chelsea could not fight back from this position and consistently lost wickets with spin twins Crouch and Carpenter demolishing the middle order and tail with 3 wickets a piece. Chelsea, all out for 128.
Batting a second time Hampton openers Justin Ferguson and Jon Carpenter put on a dominant display to be 0/62, so dominant , Chelsea captain, Shamith Kannangara conceded the match with 90 overs still remaining.
Many consider this an outstanding accomplishment having been promoted to this grade this season and having found themselves in 6th position on the ladder going into the final round.