By Justin Flynn
Ocean Grove moved into fourth spot on the Bellarine Football League ladder with a thrilling one-point win against a vastly improved Geelong Amateur on Saturday.
The Grubbers held on in the dying stages and leapfrogged Anglesea in the process.
Drysdale is in sixth spot after holding on against a determined Newcomb while Anglesea is clinging to fifth after losing to premiership favourites Torquay.
On Saturday, the Grubbers had trouble putting away Geelong Amateur, which welcomed back five senior players.
The Grubbers gave their home crowd supporters a fright, but were in front when the siren sounded to win 10.11(71) to 11.4(70).
Ammos employed a precise short-kicking game out of defence. Ocean Grove had plenty of inside 50s in the first half to put the game away.
“To be honest we didn’t do anything to counteract their ball movement,” Davey said.
“Our default method when we don’t have the footy is high pressure and we know when we get that right, we are very difficult to move through. Our primary concern was attacking.
“The inside 50s count was heavily in our favour but we just couldn’t get bang-for-buck so our focus was ensuring that our entries were deeper and more central to enable better opportunities as opposed to combating their rebound.”
Ruckman Kobe Annand was moved to the goalsquare with immediate results and goaled either side of the first break.
“We played Kobe forward against them last time and while he didn’t hit the scoreboard back then, it created a reshuffle of their defence that they didn’t look overly comfortable doing so we always planned to do it when we played them next,” Davey said.
“Fortunately this time it worked even better and Kobe was able to chip in with a couple of very important marks and goals.
“We did lose the clearance count on the day but in the context of a one-point game, those two goals were crucial in getting the win.”
Ocean Grove had nine of the first 11 forward entries in the game, nine of the first 10 in the second term and 13 of the first 14 in the last, but couldn’t capitalise on the scoreboard.
“We made a point during the week of not kicking the ball long to centre half forward as Daniel Lovick took 10 intercept marks against us last time,” Davey said.
“The downside of bypassing centre half forward was that we often went too wide and weren’t able to bring the ball back into a dangerous ‘hot spot’. It meant we didn’t get the return that kind of inside 50 dominance would generally result in.”
But the Grubbers held on in character building, but frenetic, final quarter.
“In those final moments I had visions of a free kick being given in their goal square and losing the game after the siren which would have been an incredibly unjust result and one that would have been a real kick in the stomach for our players who, for the most part, were considerably better on the day,” Davey said.
For the Grubbers, Fletcher Keck was busy around the packs while Will Brohm played well and Joe McDonald was a presence every time he got near the ball. Annand booted two majors as did James Paterson, who took his season’s tally to 32.
Ocean Grove’s reserves finals hopes are all but over after a 38-point loss to Geelong Amateur, 6.8(44) to 11.12(78).
Grove managed just one goal in the first half before a turnaround in the third term, but Ammos had done enough to hold sway.
Bailey Payne, Adam Gerdtz and Tim Lazzaro were best for Ocean Grove.