After finishing on top of the ladder for consecutive seasons the thirds managed to top off an impressive season with an 11-10 victory over Essendon in the grand final in what was a great game by both sides.
With Ryan Davine starting on the hill Melbourne managed a great start, retiring three of the first four hitters to keep Essendon scoreless. The start was then topped off with lead off Jerome Coles hitting an in the park home run off the first pitch he faced to give Melbourne a 1-0 lead and put early pressure on Essendon. Melbourne then let themselves down in the field with a combination hits to Essendon and some untimely fielding errors handing them a 4-1 lead. Not too be outdone Melbourne came out swinging with four hits in a row scoring three runs to bring it back to a 4-4 game heading in to the third. With memories of previous finals failures springing to mind Melbourne retired the next three Essendon hitters and hit back with a run of their own through Sean Rintoul to take a 5-4 lead into the fourth. A quiet inning from both sides kept the scoreline the same after five before Melbourne let new pitcher Brent Davine down in the field to allow Essendon to plate three unearned run to face a 7-5 deficit. Sensing something needed to be done Melbourne rallied and let their bats do the talking scoring six runs off five hits and two Essendon errors to give the side an 11-7 lead and a glimmer of hope coming towards the end of the game. Not to be outdone Essendon hit back with three runs in the sixth which saw Dave Keyhoe summoned from the bullpen to get out of a jam and keep Melbourne in front 11-10. With the nerves showing Melbourne let themselves down and failed to score a run in the bottom of the sixth to leave Essendon with the momentum heading into the seventh. Not to be outdone Dave was great on the hill and retired the next three hitters to give the Melbourne the Division One Thirds premiership with Cooper Gerwing getting the final out at first base.
In a pleasing sign for the future of the club Melbourne had three junior players in the premiership starting lineup in Cooper Gerwing, Charlie Keyhoe and Sean Rintoul as well as several other players under the age of 25 in Albert Suttor, Matt Beyer, Jerome Coles and Tom Arthur. In addition there were a few special moments in the premiership win with a father/son Dave and Charlie Keyhoe and brothers Ryan and Brent Davine getting to play together.
Hits: Sean Rintoul 3, Brett Webster 3 (triple), Arran Potter 3 (triple), Jerome Coles 2 (home run), Shaun Hilliard 2 (double), Cooper Gerwing 2, Ben Telford (double, sac fly), James Roy.