Demons v Rams

Andrew Groves spoke to both clubs prior to the season climax.............














Judgement Day is just five sleeps away for Melbourne and Ringwood as the 2012-13 Premier Final draws ever closer.

The Demons are just one win away from taking the clean sweep, and will come into the game as favourites having finished above the Rams in the ladder.

However, that won’t stop skipper Ben Osborne and his men from giving it their all as he chases his third Premier flag.

Back-to-back Premierships are still ingrained in the memory of Osborne who is desperate to add another to his collection.

“I’ve got a 100 per cent success rate so far, I don’t want to lose that,” he said.ashton_r16_v_fe

“A lot of players will play a lot of cricket and not even play in one. Now I’ve got a chance to play in three.

“I remember those two other ones vividly. Six of the eleven players in the squad were involved in those finals so we’ve got experience of what it’s like.

“For the younger ones it will be a great learning experience for them. There is always pressure in finals, but our boys seem to really enjoy it. They seem to be a bunch who aren’t fazed by anything.

"Hopefully they’ll continue to go out there and play the same kind of cricket at the weekend.

“We all know how good Melbourne are as a side. The likes of Keath, Hill, Kent, the two McDonalds, you can just reel them off.

“But you’ve got to beat the best to be the best. We are playing as good a cricket as we ever had, hopefully we are peaking just at the right time.”

It has been a long campaign for everyone involved in the competition this season.

For Melbourne it has already been one to remember.

Last weekend four teams made it into the Premier semi-final in respective grades with the firsts and thirds emerging victorious.

Chairman of Selectors, Mark Anderson, praised every player for their contribution to the cause.

He is now crossing his fingers they bring home the bacon over the Easter weekend.

“It was exciting for the club to have so many teams playing in the semi-final,” he said.

“The firsts are having a really good season. If they go on to win the two-day competition it will probably be the best ever.

“When you look at Ringwood, you’d probably say they have more experience playing finals than us, but it will be the team who performs on the day who will win it.mcdonald_v_prah_r18

“Playing in a game like this requires even more concentration, who grabs the breaks and seizes on the momentum. It should be an excellent game of cricket.”

Melbourne’s evergreen stars, Brad Hodge and Andrew McDonald, won’t be playing in the match. They have already committed to playing in the IPL.

Anderson is hoping Melbourne can emulate its 09-10 achievements when they last won the Premier flag.

“We played St Kilda in the Grand Final at Uni, it was just a fantastic game of cricket,” added Anderson.

“We were something like 5-40 and then one of our players ground it out and scored a hundred. Defending something like 200, it took a herculean effort by Adam Dale with the ball to win us the game.

“There’s always joy and there’s always heartache in a final. Hopefully we’ll be the ones who come out on top.”

Ringwood will also have a strong squad to choose from.

One man who will come into the game in a rich vein of form is opener David King.

He hit a superb 108 not out, with support from Tom Stray (64no), as the Rams chased down Prahran’s 184 last week.

“On his day I still think he’s the best in the competition,” added Osborne.

“His two-day stats this season are superb and over the last two years have been amazing. He’s averaging nearly 90 this season, David is on fire at the moment.”

 All the stats and further info will be available tomorrow on this website.

KOOKABURRA PREMIER FINALS

1sts (Sat 30, Sun 31 March & Mon
1 April. Tue 2 April is a reserve day)
MELBOURNE V RINGWOOD         at the Junction Oval, St Kilda
Umpires: Geoff Joshua & Tony Ward

2nds (Sat 30 & Sun 31 March)
PRAHRAN V CAMBERWELL MAGPIES    at Camberwell Sports Ground
Umpires: Vin Borg & Stephen Brne

3rds (Sat 30 & Sun 31 March)
MELBOURNE V ST KILDA            at the Albert Ground
Umpires: Adam Hawking & Alan Jones

4ths (Sat 30 & Sun 31 March)
CAMB MAGPIES V MELBOURNE UNI    at Geelong
Umpires: Nick Ferns & Craig Hill

Hours of Play (1sts & 2nds):
All days        11.30am - 5.30pm
Interval        02.15pm – 02.45pm

Hours of Play (3rds & 4ths):
All days        12noon - 5.25pm
Interval        02.30pm – 03.00pm

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