Melbourne's amazing season

Andrew Groves spoke to Demons' captain-coach Andrew Kent about the MCC's super season......

What an amazing season it’s been for Melbourne.

The club won seven competitions in all. The firsts alone did the clean sweep, walking away with the two-day, one-day and T20 flags.

Captain Andrew Kent looked back on a remarkable season at the Albert Ground, and is already plotting more trophy success in 2013-14.

“Winning the treble makes it such a sweet year,” he said.

“Once you get through that first final you go onto the next. They were all tough, the T20 against St Kilda we were stuffed and pulled one out of the bag at the end there.

“The one-day final, we played well in that game against Prahran and won that. And then it was the Grand Final, it’s been such an amazing year.

“We had a lot of players going from second year to third year players, there was a lot of improvement in our group this year.mcc_champagne_flows_f3_web

“As a whole we’ve got a fair hidden talent in our youngsters. There were 12 guys who started the Grand Final but there were more who could have stood up. There were a lot of players who played a key role throughout the year.

“One of the real pleasing things is that we had such aggression of the players who played and won a second XI Premiership last year and progressed to playing this Premiership this year.

“We did a lot of work on our leadership, I think that was important for us because there were a number of people in the group who stepped up with that. And now what we found was the knack of winning close games.

“I could run you through four or five examples through the year where we found something when there was not much there and that stuff gives you momentum. When you get that feeling like you can win from anywhere.

“Games like the Frankston game (in the Quarter Final). We were down there, that was just about survival, do whatever you can to get through. After that we had a pretty good feeling, a really good game in the Semi Final when Andrew McDonald played a super hand, and when Hilly got us through there.”begbie_pulls_final_web

The lead up to the granny was dramatic for all types of reasons.

The big day too didn’t disappoint. Opponents Ringwood put up a really good showing over the three days pushing the Demons all the way both mentally and physically.

Finally they came out on top thanks to one or two mighty individual performances.

“When you look at our two-day form coming into the game, it’s solid without being outstanding, Ringwood’s was very, very good,” continued Kent.

“It was just a matter of whether our match-winners could do it on the big stage.

“I think they did. Brenton in the first innings just did what he’s done all year. He turned the game for us and got us on top. He’s half the reason why we are here where we are today.

“You need special performances on the day. Matty Begbie stepping up like he did in that first innings, it was so hard for a young guy to take that pressure on himself.

“He stayed so clear in what he was doing, he didn’t give them a chance, played so simply. They tried short balls, they threw everything at him but he just stuck in there.

“Then there was Hilly. He came out in the second innings and was so crucial. We were very nervous, it was a really good declaration by Ringwood. I thought they’d probably get more runs, but they said nah we’ll bowl you out. That was a really good attitude.

“But Hill and Alex (Keath) are two pro players and that’s what you expect from them.”

And for next year? Well the plan is to keep improving and add even more flags and trophies to the bulging one at the Albert at the moment.

“We’ve got a lot of players at the moment who I think are very good grade players and very capable. But we need players who can come out and make the next level," he said.

“One of the things I’ve been asking my boys for a couple of years is for someone to jump out of the pack. Maybe it’s Matty Begbie from the Grand Final, Matthew Brown is another one. That’s our next challenge, we want to produce the next run of Shield players.”

Melbourne excelled through all four grades this term.

The thirds became Premiers after an exciting contest against St Kilda.

Batting first they were indebted to Will Pucovski (38), skipper Jon Huddart (31), Tristan Larter (64), and Christopher Janik (32) as they posted 217.

Some tight bowling in reply kept the Saints on the back foot. They eventually fell short on 188 Shane Giese (4-44) was the pick of the bowlers.

That made it seven trophies the club won over the space of the season. Camberwell picked up three, Geelong and Melbourne University the other teams.



Melbourne 3rds
Back row (L to R)): Shane Giese, Kieran Elliott, Darcy Daly, Arno Swart, Max Tomkinson.
Front row: Will Pucovski, Marcus Worrall, Max Tucker, Jonathan Huddart (Captain), Chris Janik, Tristan Larter, James Gillard.




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