Melbourne Victory have ended their six year wait for a trophy in emphatic fashion, securing the Premiers Plate with a dominant 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Only a calamity would prevent the Victory from finishing on top of the table in the final game of the year, something which never looked like eventuating as Melbourne steamrolled to their first piece of silverware since the 2009 championship.

With Sydney taking maximum points away to Wellington in the game prior, only a point was needed to take Victory clear on top of the ladder past their nearest rivals while a 6-0 win to the Central Coast was needed for the plate to head to the SFS.

In no mood for a nervous afternoon out, Victory put the matter out of any doubt as they fine-tuned their game ahead of an impending finals campaign.

Victory showed clear intent from the start they were not merely playing for a draw, giving their rivals for the championship that there search for silverware  has come to an end with the Premiers Plate securely placed in its new home of AAMI Park.

The home side dominated the opening half hour of play but couldn’t break through a resilient Mariners defence.

Victory produced the slick attacking play and fluid passing that has seen them return to the summit of Australian football.

For all their good work it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that it showed on the scoreboard when Daniel Georgievski fired in a sublime finish to put his side in the lead.

Some nice bit of work between himself and Besart Berisha cut open the Mariners defence. Berisha got on the end of a Georgievski pass which the striker held up allowing the Macedonian international space which led to his delightful shot, looping over Matthew Nash into the back of the net.

The Victory had to wait just two minutes after the opener to extend their lead when Archie Thompson headed home a Gui Finkler corner. Not known for his aerial ability, Thompson managed to find space on the near post to head the ball through the legs of the hapless Nash.

The Victory fans in attendance could sensed the job was done and celebrated accordingly.

The mood was tempered slightly just shy of half time when the Mariners dragged one back through Eddy Bosnar when he landed a free kick into the Victory goal, helped along the way by a deflection off the wall.

The Premiers-elect got back to the comfort of the two-goal buffer in the 47th minute when Besart Berisha finally hit the target at AAMI Park when he finished off a now trademark slick attacking move.

The trophy engraver was called out to an emergency job at Swan Street as Victory cruised to end of the match.

The 3-1 win was more than what the Victory deserved not only in this game but for all efforts all season.

In an exceptionally tight competition Victory have shown to be the best side, proving it with not only the points on the board but also the style of play.

The job is now only half done with the real test awaiting in the Final Series.

While happy with what’s unfolded thus far, Victory manager Kevin Muscat’s focus has now turned to the finals.

“I’m over the moon, I’m ecstatic,” Muscat said.

“To have achieved this with that group, it’s certainly special. A massive night for the football club, it’s been far too long. It’s been a long wait for a trophy.

“I’m not naive, I know there’s a massive game for us in a couple of weeks, and Australian sport loves grand finals and so do I, but to achieve this, with that group, it’s certainly special.”

Melbourne Victory starting XI: 20. Lawrence THOMAS(GK), 4. Nick ANSELL, 5. Mark MILLIGAN(C), 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Gui FINKLER, 8.  Besart BERISHA, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 15. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 17. Mathieu DELPIERRE, 21. Carl VALERI
Melbourne Victory substitutes: 40. Michael TURNBALL(GK), 11. Connor PAIN, 14. Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 24. Scott GALLOWAY

Central Coast Mariners starting XI: 1. Matthew NASH (GK), 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Josh ROSE, 5. Zac ANDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON(C), 10. Anthony CACERAS, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 16. Liam ROSE, 20. Anthony MALIK, 21. Isaka CERNAK, 25. Eddy BOSNAR

Central Coast Mariners substitutes: 30. Adam PEARCE, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 15. Matt SIM, 18. Glen TRIFIRO, 19. Matt SIMON

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