Back on track

Trav celebrates: Grubber 150th gamer Travis Gavin celebrates a crucial goal in the final term. Picture: MARK HEENAN MEDIA 169180

By Mark Heenan

Ocean Grove produced a stunning turnaround to upstage reigning premier Geelong Amateur by 14 points at Ray Menzies Memorial Oval on Saturday.
Down by 24 points at half time, the home side outscored their highly fancied opponents 10 goals compared to Amateur’s four majors in the second half.
The landmark victory came as Ocean Grove strung three victories in a row after wins over Queenscliff, Modewarre and Geelong Amateur.
Incredibly Ocean Grove’s last victory over Geelong Amateur, BFL triple premiers from 2014 to 2016, came almost five years ago in Round 12 in 2012.
Ocean Grove senior coach Paul Lynch labelled Amateur as the “benchmark of the BFL” though he admits his side can’t afford to rest on its laurels.
“They are one of the better sides and it was good to get a win against a very good side,” he said.
“They are the last premiership winners, so until they get knocked off they are the benchmark of the competition.”
“It probably has been our best win for the year.
“We are definitely not getting carried away with it and we have got a long way to go … we have got to keep working and getting better.”
It was a game to savour for dynamic forward Travis Gavin in his 150th match.
The dangerous Gavin finished with five goals and sealed the game with a crucial goal late in final term.
“Travie is very important to us and his last three weeks have been exceptional,“ Lynch said.
Key forward Jake Carmody was dominant with strong marking leads and also booted four goals.
Carmody lifted his season’s goal tally to 26 after nine rounds and remains in third spot on the goalkicking table.
Ocean Grove midfielders James Linton and Brent Macleod were in vintage form and gathered plenty of the ball with the pair’s tackling pressure enormous.
Captain Kelly Williams and Andrew Jarvis were both named in Ocean Grove’s best players.
Amateur forward Damien Zaparenkov was a key marking target and finished with two goals, which included a miraculous goal from the boundary line.
Zaparenkov’s team-mate Matt Walsh proved a handful across half forward, while Amateur’s two-prong ruck duo in Hamish Dahl and Chris Kangars played serviceable games.
Ocean Grove’s next senior game is against Newcomb at Newcomb on Sunday 11 June.
See page 30 for more pictures and the full scoreboard from the game.