Kyabram Fire Brigade’s Brayden Stone celebrated an A grade cricket premiership on the weekend, winning the title in his first year as coach.ZACH HUBBER March 19, 2014 4:43am
Almost two decades without a premiership were put to rest for Kyabram Fire Brigade coach Brayden Stone when the Flames clinched the Goulburn Murray Cricket A grade premiership on Sunday.
Stone last year accepted the opportunity to coach Fire Brigade, which brought an end to a 16-year playing career with Cooma.
The successful coach said aside from family, leaving his former club was the toughest decision of his life.
‘‘It was hard to leave them,’’ he said.
‘‘The call to the president was a tough one, but they were good enough to grant me the clearance to play and wished me all the best.
‘‘Two people who were influential to my cricket were Alex Ranson and Paul Ranson from Cooma.
‘‘They had a bigger impact on my career than any other two people.’’
Stone said despite the tough decision, he knew he needed a change.
‘‘The attractions was to come here and play with mates and I thought we still had a team that could win the final,’’ Stone said.
‘‘I’m close mates with a lot of the boys in the group.
‘‘It’s good to play with them and not against them.’’
The coach was faced with a challenge before the season started, with four stars from the 2012-13 season not playing.
But Stone was confident in the side’s talent pool, particularly with imports Joe Taylor and Tyrone Isitt.
‘‘I think we won (the premiership) because we had learned to be patient with our batting,’’ Stone said.
‘‘I knew we had the bowling attack that could win a game, but we just needed to be patient with the batting.
‘‘One thing I learnt playing against Fire Brigade for a long time was that they were too aggressive, which was to their detriment.
‘‘They’d bat themselves out of a game.’’
The Flames made 247 runs in 90 overs in their preliminary final against Echuca, before setting Tongala a target of 177 in the grand final.
The first session against the Blues yielded a patient 64 runs with nine wickets in hand, a foundation which played a major factor in claiming the premiership.
Stone has already set his sights on going back-to-back with Fire Brigade, but will one day return to Cooma.
‘‘My intentions were to coach for two years then see after that,’’ Stone said.
‘‘I think I do want to go back, that was my intention.’’
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