Kurtis Patterson kicked an annoying ape of his back last week with his first JLT Sheffield Shield century in more than two years.
Not since the day-night Shield clash against Queensland at the Gabba in the opening round of the 2016-17 season had Patterson raised the bat to acknowledge reaching triple-figures for New South Wales in four-day cricket.
That changed in Perth at Perth Stadium's maiden first-class fixture where the 25-year-old posted an unbeaten 107 against Western Australia to provide the backbone of what was a match-winning total of 261 for the Blues, who went on to win their first Shield contest in the west for six years.
But in between those hundreds, the left-hander recorded 14 half-centuries in 23 Shield matches without kicking on to a big score, a statistic that has been highlighted in the media when his name was thrown up as a possible Test contender.
Now that he's ended the drought, Patterson hopes to contribute to more wins for NSW and continue to silence his critics.
"It was definitely a monkey off the back, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't," Patterson said today ahead of the Blues clash with the Redbacks from Friday.
"There's been a little bit said, so it was nice to go out there and put in a match-winning performance for my team.
"It's probably something I've lacked, if we're going to be honest.
"A good feeling but more importantly just to be able to go over there and win which is something we don't often do.
"That was really special."
Patterson's knock was the maiden century at Perth Stadium, venue of the second Domain Test between Australia and India from December 14.
Having spent 344 deliveries in the middle with bat in hand (221 in the first innings, 123 for 43 runs in the second), few are better to comment on the state of the pitch and what the two Test nations can expect.
"I thought it was a good cricket wicket," he said.
"Same standard Perth – pace and bounce.
"Probably not as consistent as the WACA normally is. It cracked up and (was) maybe a little bit up and down at times throughout the game, which I think is good, it gives the bowlers a little more than what the WACA has done in the previous years."
One fast bowler who enjoyed the pace and bounce of the wicket was seamer Trent Copeland, who took seven wickets in the 104-run win.
But the right-armer won't be at the SCG this week. Instead, he'll be in Adelaide as part of Channel 7's commentary team for the first Test.
The decision to skip a match for the Blues was one not taken lightly by Copeland nor the Blues, but Patterson says the veteran quick has the support of his teammates.
"It's a tough one but 'Copes' is the one hurting most," Patterson said.
"We're all supportive of him. It's a great opportunity for him.
"It's one of those incredibly rare moments where you have to take it.
"If you miss it you might not ever get the chance again.
"All the boys are fine and we're really looking forward to trying to get the best performance against South Australia."