South Hobart claims first Victory Cup


South Hobart has claimed the first-ever Victory Cup in an extra-time thriller in Tasmania.

FT: Devonport City 1 (Joel Stone 68-) def. by South Hobart 3 (Ben Hamlett 86-, 117-, Kostas Kanakaris 112-)

South Hobart has claimed the first-ever Victory Cup in an extra-time thriller in Tasmania.

Melbourne Victory ambassador Grant Brebner was on hand to present the trophy to the winners of the Victory Cup, held at Tasmania’s KGV Football Park.

Underdogs Devonport City came out to play and took it up to the Victory League champions, South Hobart had the better of chances in the first half but it was a tight tussle between the two top teams with Devonport attacking on the counter.

Brody Denehey had a great chance in the 54th minute when he was put through on goal one on one with Matthew Ferguson, Ferguson did superbly, racing off his line to save it with a dive to deny a golden chance for the Strikers.

South Hobart made two changes on the 61st minute mark as they introduced two game breakers in Kostas Kanakaris and Ben Hamlett.

The Strikers took the lead in the 68th minute through midfielder Joel Stone, a chaos ball was sent across from the left, it eluded Brody Denehey and confusion ensued at the back as Ferguson was indecisive at whether to charge out from his line, Joel Stone pounced following the mad scrap and found the net to give the underdogs the upperhand at KGV.

Devonport looked to be destined for a famous victory with just five minute to run on the clock, when super substitute Ben Hamlett poked home from the back post to level the game and send it to extra time. Chris Hunt picked out the ball inside his own half following a Devonport corner and hurt them on the counter, he went on an inspiring run through the middle before finding Kanakaris on the left who fired off a shot that was tipped away from Casey Eaves into the path of the enigmatic Hamlett, who toed it home from close range.

The game went into extra time and it was a cut-throat contest, South Hobart had the brightest chance of the first extra time period, they had three attempts with headers from three different people but somehow Devonport did enough to see the danger at bay.

There was little goal mouth action in the first half of extra time and with the game wearing on South Hobart looked to have the extra legs over a wounded Devonport.

South Hobart have made their name from late winners in 2013 and it was no different in the final. On return from injury Kostas Kanakaris and fellow substititute Ben Hamlett clutched goals in extra time to ensure the club their second piece of silverware for the season.

In the 112th minute the dynamic Kostas Kanakaris looked to have broken through with a late winner, the striker finished into the bottom right, striking from the edge of the area.

In the 117th Hamlett then put the icing of the cake for South Hobart over desperate Devonport, turning in a Nick Morton cross from the left to put it beyond doubt. He celebrated his second in signature fashion, stripping off his top to be shown his second yellow and given his marching orders by Referee Simon Natoli.

They were down to ten men for the remainder but it didn-t matter as Ken Morton-s men secured the Victory Cup. The final win caps off a stellar Victory League season for South Hobart, claiming both the Victory League and the Victory Cup in the inaugural year.

South Hobart-s attention now turns to the National Premier League (NPL) Finals series, in which they will host South Australia-s premiers early next month.

Melbourne Victory will head to Tasmania later this month for our next pre-season training camp. Find out more about the trip here.