By Mark Heenan
Ocean Grove A1 advanced through to a second Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association grand final in two years after its enthralling semi-final victory over Barwon Heads on 17 March.
Tensions boiled over afterwards in a fierce Battle of the Bridge contest where a few players refused to shake hands with their opposition counterparts at the completion of the match.
“There was nothing personal said and it was a hard fought game of cricket,” Ocean Grove captain coach Paul Jubber said.
“From our point of view it was disappointing – it is a semi-final you are not there to make mates and play to win a game of cricket…and you do whatever you can within the rules and the umpires didn’t have a problem with it.”
Barwon Heads was all out for 161 from 59.3 overs after the Grubbers were dismissed for 200 from 73.4 overs after winning the toss and batting first on day one.
Ocean Grove’s 39-run victory means Ocean Grove will meet Anglesea in the BPCA decider for a second year after the Kangaroos scored a seven-wicket semi-final win over Surf Coast rivals Jan Juc.
Reigning premier Anglesea won its A Grade grand final clash against Ocean Grove last year at Portarlington.
“So (it is) unfinished business again, we are not here to make up the numbers,” Jubber said.
Chasing 201 for victory the Seagulls were in a dominant position at 0/92 on day two on their home deck at Barwon Heads before the visitors struck with the ball and triggered a collapse.
Barwon Heads lost 10 wickets for 69 runs with the Grubbers rolling through the Heads’ tail to pick up the final six wickets for only 11 runs.
Young Grubber spinner Tom Beasley took six wickets and Ocean Grove all-rounder Sam Jubber claimed three wickets.
Despite the loss, Barwon Heads captain Sam Schaller had an outstanding match claiming 7/76 from his marathon stint of 36.4 overs on day one.
“Sam (Schaller) had an amazing game and was by far the best player in the game – credit to him,” Jubber said.
On day two Schaller top scored with 77 opening the batting, while Grubber wicket-keeper Huon Bertino made a patient 66 on 16 March.