By Justin Flynn
Ocean Grove coach Pete Davey said there were positives to take from his inexperienced side’s Bellarine Football League opening round loss to Torquay on Good Friday.
The Grubbers were beaten by 64 points after Torquay led by 34 at the first break. Final scores were Torquay 16.15 (111) to Ocean Grove 7.5 (47).
Even though Davey said the inexperience of his team was no excuse, the reality was that the Tigers were vastly more equipped to deal with the big stage of Good Friday football.
“There is a lot of education we need to do around transitioning from attack to defence and vice versa, defending the ground, and just general game sense that can only come from playing games of footy and re-watching footage,” Davey said.
“We will never use inexperience as an excuse but the reality is that our group is on a very steep learning curve.”
The Tigers came out firing in the first team and put five goals on the board while Grove could only manage one behind.
Both sides added four goals in the second quarter as the Grubbers played with more confidence.
“I thought our pressure in the first half, particularly in that second quarter, was first class and exactly where we want it to be,” Davey said.
“I was really happy with the way our backline competed, especially given the amount of ball that was going in there during that first quarter.”
Torquay added three more goals in the third quarter while Grove went goalless. A 52-point lead to Torquay had sealed the Grubbers’ fate.
The final term was relatively even on the scoreboard with Grove adding three majors to Torquay’s four.
Logan Taylor booted two goals for Ocean Grove while Lucas Anderson was unstoppable with seven for the Tigers.
Glenn Campbell, Jack Rawlings and James Paterson worked hard all game for Grove.
“Most of our lessons will be learnt when we go through the video,” Davey said.
“We were really shown up around stoppages but that was a result of an extremely inexperienced midfield competing against smart mids who have played together for a number of years.”
Davey said he was left frustrated with his side’s lack of discipline at times.
“We can’t afford to give up easy goals to anybody, especially not sides of Torquay’s calibre,” he said.
“We gifted at least five goals to them, often on the back of a lost scoring opportunity to us, and that made the scoreboard look more lopsided than it probably should have.”
Ocean Grove takes on Portarlington at Ray Menzies Memorial Oval tomorrow and Davey said he was looking forward to playing at home.
“We can’t wait to get onto Ray Menzies,” he said.
“It’s something we’ve really made a point of, wanting to make our home a place that opposition teams don’t like to visit and that begins this weekend.”
Torquay proved too good in the reserves clash, winning 15.20 (110) to 4.7 (31).
Cory Connor kicked three goals for the Grubbers while Cheyne Kelly was the other goalscorer and was named best player.