Coutas finish strongly to beat Grove in opener

Sean McKenzie was one of Ocean Grove's best. 397856_08

An impressive Queenscliff overpowered a promising Ocean Grove at Steeline Ray Menzies Oval in front of a bumper Good Friday crowd to open the Bellarine Football League season.

The Grubbers were in front by six points at the last change in a see-sawing encounter, but Queenscliff booted six goals to one in the final term to run out winners, 15.14(104) to 12.8(80).

In warm conditions, the game was played at a hectic pace and both sides showed enough to suggest they will improve this season.

Ocean Grove coach Dave Farrell was pleased with many aspects of his side’s game.

“For periods of the game we were really good, especially in the first half we strung together good moments and you couldn’t help but get excited by the way the boys were playing,” he said.

“Queenscliff played some really consistent footy and have some real fire power forward when they get the footy in quickly.”

Former Adelaide and Hawthorn player Kyle Hartigan booted four goals for the Coutas and Will Baker also kicked four.

Ocean Grove had trouble scoring at times last season, but on Good Friday, it had multiple avenues to goal with Brady Pritchard booting four goals and Connor Asquith three.

“The offensive side of our game looks to be piecing together nicely and can hopefully compliment the contest work we prided ourselves on in the back end of last season,” Farrell said.

“Last year we focused really heavily on our contest work and defence, while we continue to work at these areas, our ball movement and attack has become more of a focus since Christmas as we build out our game method.”

Farrell said his players fed off the energy of the big Easter crowd and that playing a home game during the holidays was a bonus for the club.

“It’s a huge undertaking by the committee and volunteers, but we love the exposure the staff and players get to a big crowd and the extra scrutiny that comes with round one,” he said.

“It’s a finals-like atmosphere that hopefully is an experience we can draw on when we get the opportunity to return to finals footy ourselves.”

QUEENSCLIFF won a thriller in the reserves with a goal on the siren giving it a seven-point win.

Jake Hedley kicked five goals for the Coutas in the 10.6(66) to 9.5(59) win while Fletcher Long booted three for the Grubbers.

Kirby Reilly, Joe Pierce and Ryan Cook were among Ocean Grove’s best and Jordan Wilson, Hedley and Kai Keenan did well for the visitors.


Ocean Grove vs Queenscliff

Ocean Grove 4.3(27), 7.4(46), 11.6(72), 12.8(80)

Queenscliff 2.4(16), 5.9(39), 9.12(66), 15.14(104)


Ocean Grove: Brady Pritchard 4, Connor Asquith 3, Ben Bennett, Ed Dayman, Jace Collins, Lachlan Bedendo, Campbell Snookes. Queenscliff: Kyle Hartigan 4, Will Baker 4, Isaac McCabe 2, Joe Cincotta 2, Jai McGough.


Ocean Grove: Ed Dayman, Max Sutton, Cameron Fowler, Grady Slocombe, Brady Pritchard, Sean McKenzie. Queenscliff: Harry Gower, Max Scott, Caleb Whitley, Sol Bowtell, Will Baker, Kyle Hartigan.