The Premier Final

For the first time, Melbourne will take on Ringwood in the Premier Final commencing at the Junction Oval on Saturday. Both teams qualified after convincing respective Semi Final victories over Dandenong and Prahran last weekend.

In many ways it will be a “David v Goliath” contest, with the Demons the most successful club in Premier history up against the Rams, a relative newcomer to Premier ranks.

Melbourne has had consistent success over the years, as 19 First XI flags (& 62 in all grades) will attest. The Demons were also the clear CV Club Championship winners this season – their 20th success with this award, well ahead of second-placed Richmond with 13.

Ringwood joined Premier ranks in 1974-75 and, despite a number of lower XI flags, only appeared in finals twice in their first 30 seasons. The back-to-back flags in 2007-08 and 2008-09 changed the Rams’ fortunes and their successive CV Club Championships in 2008-09/2009-10 stamped their mark on the competition. Incredibly the same eleven players represented the Rams in both flag wins.

Following their successive flags, a number of departures halted the Rams’ progress for a couple of seasons. Although six players remain from those triumphs (Ben Osborne, David King, Daniel King, Tom Stray, Joe Loorham and Brendan Walsh), the retirements of Michael King, Matt King and Drew McKay to play locally and moves interstate by Matthew Gale (Qld) and Tom Stray (SA) left big holes. Tom Stray returned after a season in Adelaide,  but the development of youngsters Ian Holland, Pat Ashton and Michael Topp have helped fill the gaps, along with david_king_v_fe_r16assistance from experienced players Gavin Kellar (playing coach) and paceman Blair Allan from other clubs.

Melbourne has been very strong all season. Ringwood has hit its best form in the last few weeks.

Irrespective of what happens across the weekend, there will be many interested onlookers. The two clubs will be playing for the Clive Fairbairn Trophy. Clive, who passed away in 2010, had a close affinity with both clubs and will, no doubt, be watching from above. Bob Lloyd, who captain-coached Ringwood in the club’s first five seasons of District Cricket, will also have some mixed feelings towards both camps.

Good luck to both clubs!

The teams:

Melbourne: Kent (c), Begbie, Brown, Hill, Keath, B McDonald, Middlin, Quinn, P Smith, Thompson, Way, Paynter (12th).

Ringwood: Osborne (c), Allan, Ashton, Holland, Daniel King, David King, Loorham, Stray, Topp, B Walsh, N Walsh, G Kellar (12th).


It has been a sensational season for the Demons to date. Both the T20 and One-Day titles under their belt, the Club Championship and lots of titles in the other grades as well. Melbourne went into the Semi Finals with all four teams in action and, although the Seconds and Fourths dropped out, the club still has a chance of securing seven of a possible twelve titles – an incredible effort.

Melbourne is the most successful club in District/Premier history, with 19 First XI premierships, one ahead of St Kilda.

The Demons’ season consisted of just two losses – a T20 loss to the Rams at Lavington and a two-dayer against Casey-South Melbourne in late January. Aside from those glitches, their season has been outstanding. Brenton McDonald has been a fantastic inclusion for Melbourne. His overall figures are impressive enough (534 runs & 48 wickets), but it has also been his thompson_wkt_qf1wconsistency. Rarely has there been a game where he has not contributed.

Andrew Kent (590 runs), Alex Keath (506) and Michael Hill (455) have also been good with the bat, Patrick Smith (34 wkts), Keath (28), Chris Thompson (23) and Jack Paynter (19) with the ball.

The unavailability of Andrew McDonald and Brad Hodge due to IPL duties is disappointing for Melbourne and for all Premier Cricket followers.

1st XI Players this season with previous Final experience:

Andrew Kent        1999-00    2004-05    2009-10
Brenton McDonald    2011-12 (Richmond)
Michael Hill        2009-10
Peter Petricola        2009-10
Ben Way        2009-10
Rob Cooper        2009-10
Andrew McDonald    1999-00
Ash Middlin        2009-10
Brad Hodge        1992-93    1993-94    1994-95    1997-98    1999-00

Premierships (19):

1914-15, 1919-20, 1929-30, 1932-33, 1934-35, 1935-36, 1936-37, 1937-38, 1948-49, 1951-52, 1958-59, 1972-73, 1975-76, 1981-82, 1988-89, 1992-93, 1994-95, 1997-98, 2009-10.

Melbourne's Path to the Final 2012-13:

Rd   Melb     Result    Opponent    Opp Score   Venue
01   4-72     Won (D/L) Nth Melb     7-81       St Kilda
02   6-222    Won       Carlton      9-218      Albert Ground
03   3-170    Won       Northcote    7-166      Albert Ground
04   8-236    Won       Haw-Mon Uni   105       Monash Uni
05   7(d)277  Won       Melb Uni     193        Albert Ground
06   5-244    Won       Foot Edge    242        MG Hughes Oval
07   6-177    Won       Frank Pen    9-129      Lavington
08   7-124    Lost      Ringwood     6-137      Lavington
09   6-188    Won       Camb Mag     144        Camberwell
10   7-147    Won       Dandenong    9-115      Albert Ground
11   0-130    Won       St Kilda     8-129      Albert Ground
12   4-150    Won       Geelong      7-149      Geelong
13   5-232    Won       Ringwood     231        Albert Ground
T20F 6-144    Won       St Kilda     9-137      Albert Ground
14   5-188    Won       Fitz Donc    5-187      Albert Ground
15   169      Won       Richmond     76         Albert Ground
16    81
     & 2-112  Lost      Casey-SM     207        Casey Fields
ODF  5-169    Won       Prahran      9-168      Albert Ground
17   2(d)197  Won       Essendon     93 & 7-222 Albert Ground
18   5-328    Drew      Prahran      9(d)345    Prahran
19   153      Won       Frank Pen    125 & 3-125 Albert Ground
QF   6-142    Drew      Frank Pen    8(d)179    Frankston
SF   2-193    Won       Dandenong    191        Albert Ground


Ringwood has had some ups and downs this season. Losses to Northcote (18th) and North Melbourne (14th) weren’t in the Rams’ season plans, whereas with the losses as Richmond, Prahran, Melbourne and Melbourne Uni, they were simply outplayed. From Round 16 onwards, however Ringwood has hit its straps. The Rams chased down the Doggies’ incredible 366 in Round 16, then beat a strong Dandenong outfit in Round 17. David King (102 & 106) played a massive part in those two wins. Then came a draw against St Kilda prior to the finals series, with Nathan Walsh (131 as well as 126 against the Doggies) also making a huge contribution.

In recent matches Tom Stray has also been important. 162 v Camberwell Magpies and 64* in the semi against Prahran were significant innings.topp_r18

All-rounder Ian Holland (549 runs & 40 wickets) has been a vital cog all season, whilst with the ball, paceman Michael Topp (37 wickets), emerging leggie Patrick Ashton (26) and experienced seamer Blair Allan (22) have all played their part.

Ringwood has hit its best form at the right time of the season.

1st XI Players this season with Final experience:

Gavin Kellar    2005-06 (Fitz Donc)
Daniel King    2007-08    2008-09
David King    2007-08    2008-09
Joe Loorham    2007-08    2008-09
Ben Osborne    2007-08    2008-09
Tom Stray    2007-08    2008-09
Brendan Walsh    2007-08    2008-09

Premierships (2):

2007-08, 2008-09

Ringwood's Path to the Final 2012-13:

Rd    Ring      Result    Opponent    Opp Score    Venue
01    3-40      Won (D/L) Geelong       55         Ringwood
02    71        Lost      Northcote   2-74         Northcote
03    3-86      Won       Fitz Donc     80         Doncaster
04    9-177     Lost      Richmond    1-178        Ringwood
05    3(d)127
      & 0-70    Won       Casey-SM    124 & 71     Ringwood
06    5(d)217   Won       Essendon    142 & 1-87   Ringwood
07    5-165     Won       Frank Pen    72          Lavington
08    7-147     Won       Melbourne   7-124        Lavington
09    5-114     Won       Frank Pen   9-113        Ringwood
10    86        Lost      Prahran     6-87         Prahran
11    9-111     Lost      Nth Melb    6-139        St Kilda
12    3-152     Won       Carlton     9-135        Ringwood
13    231       Lost      Melbourne   5-232        Albert Ground
14    9-240     Won       Haw-Mon Uni 154          Ringwood
15    9-208     Lost      Melb Uni    8-209        University
16    9-370     Won       Foot Edge   3(d)366      Ringwood
17    237       Won       Dandenong   185          Dandenong
18    6(d)352   Won       Camb Mag    303          Ringwood
19    299       Drew      St Kilda    9-272        St Kilda
QF    6-260     Drew      Fitz Donc                Ringwood
SF    1-188     Won       Prahran     184          Prahran


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 Brnehdr_premier_cricket_gs_pos

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)
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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