Hibo Green defeat Workers Stags in First Grade gran final

Saturday's First Grade cricket grand final between Hibo Green and the Workers Stags was a close-run affair which was only decided in the dying moments.

Winners: Hibo Green celebrate their grand final victory over the Workers Stags on Saturday at Seiffert Oval. Photo: Zac Lowe.

Winners: Hibo Green celebrate their grand final victory over the Workers Stags on Saturday at Seiffert Oval. Photo: Zac Lowe.

The Stags won the toss and elected to bat first, which was a significant advantage on an excellent Seiffert Park wicket.

Kel Sansom, fresh from his receipt of the Batting Award, starred for the Stags with 95. He put together good partnerships with Michael Storm (33) and Andrew Tivey (44*), and led his side to 7-219.

Of the bowlers, Jordan Lees was the pick for Hibo. Despite an injured hamstring, he took 3-49 from nine overs and was still capable of producing nasty deliveries.

When Hibo took to the field in the second innings, they did so with the knowledge that no side had chased more than 200 this season.

But thanks to a powerful opening partnership of 92 between Jack Goodwin (50) and Kurt Southwell (58), Green were quickly put in the driver's seat.

After wickets from Storm and Daniel Cooper slowed Green down momentarily, the innings was finished off by Luke Hayward (78*) and Lees (17*) with three overs to spare, which led to raucous celebrations.

"It's awesome," Green captain Dane Stevenson said.

"Very humbling, and I'm very, very happy for all of [the boys]. Last season was pretty painful, having spent the season undefeated then losing two in a row and missing out."

With some of the deepest bowling reserves in the competition, Green's challenge throughout the year was putting its batting together, and Stevenson said that Saturday's display was possibly their best.

"I think it's very close to it," he said. "We've actually worked pretty hard in the last month at training, working on particular game scenarios, game situations, not only with the bat but with the ball as well.

"It seems to have paid off very well."

Workers stalwart Andrew Tivey said that he did not feel the Stags did much wrong in the course of the final.

"We played pretty well," Tivey said. "It was pretty evenly poised in the first innings, and [for the match to finish] with three overs to go in the second innings, what more could you ask for in a grand final?"

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