By Mark Heenan
Fast finishing Barwon Heads won its Battle of the Bridge contest over Ocean Grove after a dominant final term at Howard Harmer Oval on 15 July.
Scores were level at three-quarter time before Barwon Heads booted 4.9 to win by 25 points as a flat Ocean Grove only managed to kick 1.2 in the fourth quarter.
The Seagulls have extended their winning streak to seven games against Ocean Grove.
The Grubbers last BFL win over Barwon Heads was three years ago in Round 14, 2014.
Final scores, Barwon Heads 10.19 (79) to Ocean Grove 7.12 (54).
Ocean Grove fell to its third straight loss and sits in fifth spot after 14 rounds.
BFL Ladder leader Barwon Heads (12-2) is ahead of nearest rivals second-placed Torquay on percentage.
Ocean Grove senior coach Paul Lynch said it was a poor finish after the Grubbers led Barwon Heads at quarter time and half time.
“We showed we can definitely compete. Take away the last quarter, we were very good,” Lynch said.
“We missed opportunities in the first (quarter) and could’ve been four or five goals up.
“We are probably resigned to the fact we are going to finish fourth or fifth.”
The Grubbers caught Barwon Heads off-guard playing an extra man in defence in the first term on the smallish confines at Howard Harmer Oval.
“I thought our plus one was hurting them…. it actually worked really well for three quarters,” Lynch said.
Barwon Heads playing coach Mitch Herbison said the Grubbers outplayed them early, before the home side regained its composure after half time.
“Their pressure was fantastic early on and their intensity was great around the footy was as well – they probably outplayed us in that area for most of the game,” Herbison said.
“It probably took four quarters of us wearing them down.”
Barwon Heads lifted its tackling pressure in the third term, Seagull Mat Dyer being a standout.
Grubber Jake Carmody booted three goals while defenders Kaiden Long and Peter Hardy, who kept ex-Richmond AFL player Angus Graham to one goal, were super.
Barwon Heads player Zed Copland kicked four goals.
Grubber pair Patrick Maloney (disputing an umpire’s decision) and Travis Gavin (striking) were both reported and sent from field with a yellow card after half time.
In other news, Grubber Darcy Pearson made his senior debut while a stray dog entered the field and brought play to a standstill for several minutes during the game.
Ocean Grove’s next match is against Portarlington at Portarlington this Saturday.
The senior game starts at 2.10pm.
In the reserves clash, Barwon Heads thrashed Ocean Grove by 134 points.
Final scores, Barwon Heads 18.28 (136) to Ocean Grove 0.2 (2).
The Seagulls had 12 individual goalkickers.
Ocean Grove is in eighth spot with a 4-10 record, while Barwon Heads (10-4) sits in third position.
BARWON HEADS 10.19 (79) def OCEAN GROVE 7.12 (54)
Goal kickers: J. Carmody 3, J. Linton, C. Walter, M. Caldow, T. Hobbs.
Best players: K. Long, P. Hardy, M. Caldow, A. Jarvis, R. Hobbs, S. Fankhauser.