Ocean Grove has gone back to basics as it hopes to turn around its Bellarine Football League season.
A disappointing start for the Grubbers saw them drop their first four games and sit precariously towards the bottom of the table.
With their season already on the line at this early stage, the Grubbers match against a struggling Portarlington team last Saturday took on massive significance.
After a slow start, the Grubbers found their groove to win, 26.13 (169)-2.5 (17).
Grubbers coach Pete Davey said there were some good signs in the back half of the match.
“It has been a disappointing start because of a number of different things,” he said.
“We didn’t want to go 0-5. We were able to get our mojo back in the second half.
“We played some good footy and were more accountable and closer to how we played last year.
“We were back on the right wave length.”
Davey said the key to turning things around was just focusing on the basics to give their forwards the best opportunities.
He said too often this season they overused the ball and looked for an extra handball instead of getting the ball and kicking long.
“The game opened up a bit,” he said. “We won the contest and went from there and it allowed us to get a lot more run and find our forwards more one on one.
“The simplicity worked well for us.”
Davey said while they weren’t making excuses, the side hadn’t had any luck with injuries and illness. He said they had been hit by a virus going through the club which knocked players out for 10 days.
While the Grubbers have got on the board, they can’t start to take things easy. On Saturday, they face an undefeated Drysdale side.
Davey knows they will be in for a tough match.
“We beat them at their ground last year and they’re probably still smarting and will want to make amends,” he said.
“Every week the season hangs in the balance. It’s two sides with very different motivations.”
While the top side has had a tough start to the season, Davey said there had been some good signs across their other sides.
He said everything was pointing in the right direction.
“Our reserves are going really well and they have been the beneficiary of the new guys coming into the club.
“They are long term Ocean Grove players and they know the system. The under-18s have been really solid and the under-16s beat St Mary’s which was huge.”
In other matches, Anglesea will host Portarlington, Barwon Heads plays Newcomb, Queenscliff plays Geelong Amateur and Torquay plays Modewarre.