Heads prevail in tight contest

Kyle Polley leads James Paterson to the ball. (pictures Justin Flynn) 292150_02

By Justin Flynn

Barwon Heads finally shrugged off a gallant Ocean Grove to retain the Battle of the Bridge bragging rights in the penultimate round of Bellarine Football League on July 30.

Premiership hope Barwon Heads was expected to comfortably account for the young Grubbers, but got more than they bargained for.

The Seagulls didn’t kick their first goal until the six minute mark of the second term as Ocean Grove hunted the ball and ran in numbers.

Ocean Grove’s contested ball game was superb all day, but particularly in the opening term and it fully deserved a 19-point lead.

Barwon Heads hit back in the second with five goals to one to take a 12-point lead into the second half.

Ryan Harvey had a brilliant opening half, booting two goals and showing leadership with his smart kicking.

Tony Armstrong was employed as a loose man in defence, although Ocean Grove matched up on the dangerous playmaker.

Grubber forward James Paterson was relatively quiet but always threatened to take the game apart.

The Seagulls added a further four goals to one the third term to lead by 26 points and the big home crowd at Howard Harmer Oval thought the Heads would eventually win in a landslide.

But Pete Davey’s young charges had other ideas and fought the game out, booting four goals to two in the final term.

Barwon Heads was inaccurate in front of goal, but a final margin of 20 points was probably the right result.

Ocean Grove successfully thwarted the run and carry of Barwon Heads by playing a superb contested-ball game and being ferocious at the stoppages.

The Grubbers had two stars in defence.

Rhys Hobbs was magnificent on Heads’ dangerman Mitch Herbison, keeping the 2019 premiership coach goalless while Glenn Campbell kept former AFL star Nathan Brown to two majors.

Paterson eventually broke free in the second half and showcased his undoubted talent for Ocean Grove and finished with four goals while Max Sutton was busy and ruckman Ed Dayman provided physical presence in a good game.

Kyle Polley was terrific in defence for Barwon Heads while Shaun Lyle booted three goals. Armstrong was busy in the backline and was polished by foot.


Barwon Heads 0.5(5), 5.11(41), 9.13(67), 11.20(86)

Ocean Grove 3.4(22), 4.5(29), 5.11(41), 9.12(66)


Barwon Heads: Shaun Lyle 3, Nathan Brown 2, Ryan Harvey 2, Sammy Baker, Dylan Holland, Oliver Wiltshire, Braeden Eddy.

Ocean Grove: James Paterson 4, Ed Dayman 2, Max Sutton 2, Tom Chalkley.


Barwon Heads: Kyle Polley, Charlie Brauer, Logan Mitchell, Shaun Lyle, Ryan Harvey, Dylan Holland.

Ocean Grove: Rhys Hobbs, Glenn Campbell, James Paterson, Max Sutton, Edward Dayman, Mitch Taylor.