Grubbers go down fighting

Cameron Fowler breaks away from the pack (Ivan Kemp) 400358_02

There were many options facing Ocean Grove at three-quarter time against reigning premiers Torquay at Spring Creek Reserve on Saturday April 13.

Facing a 52-point deficit and 17 fewer scoring shots, one of those options was to pack it in and concede that the Tigers were just way too good.

Another option was to fight it out and regain some respectability.

The Grubbers took the latter option.

And while Torquay booted a further six goals in the final quarter, Ocean Grove kicked five to go down swinging, 16.19(115) to 8.9(57).

“We spoke as a group at three-quarter time that the game could have went one of two ways and it was pleasing to see the boys finish the game strongly and not stop with their effort,” co-coach Nick Bourke said.

“At times we were able to play our brand of footy and to see the boys not give up with the intensity and effort was pleasing. In patches we feel like we were able to play our brand of footy against a quality opposition, we just were not able to hold onto that for long enough, particularly in that second quarter. ”

That second quarter would yield five goals to none in favour of the Tigers with star forward Patrick Hughes booting six majors for the game.

“He is a quality young player who benefits from the work up the ground,” Bourke said of Hughes.

Ocean Grove was well served by Josh Lange, who played more of an outside role on a wing and gave his team plenty of drive. Jacob Talarico kicked three goals.

“He (Talarico) finished the game really strong and was one of the main voices at three-quarter time to finish the game off and he did just that which was good to see,” Bourke said.

With a 0-3 start, finals are probably not on the radar for Ocean Grove as it looks to rebuild.

“As a group we felt a huge step in the right direction this week,” Bourke said.

“It’s not going to be a quick fix but the boys are putting in a lot of work to keep moving in the direction we want to get to.”

The Grubbers turn their attention to old foes Barwon Heads.

For playing co-coach Bourke, it will be his first Battle of the Bridge. It doesn’t matter where these two sides are on the ladder, the game is always a big drawcard.

“It’s obviously a big day on the calendar for both clubs, I have never experienced one myself so really looking forward to it and testing ourselves against another quality outfit,” Bourke said.

The game is at Steeline Ray Menzies Oval, Ocean Grove on Saturday April 20 at 2.10pm.

TORQUAY thrashed Ocean Grove in the reserves, 23.7(145) to 4.2(26). Luke Wittman booted seven goals for the Tigers while Jonti Wylie kicked five. Rowan Hore bobbed up for two goals for the Grubbers while Ryan Cook and Kirby Reilly were named best.



Torquay 2.4(16), 7.10(52), 10.17(77), 16.19(115)

Ocean Grove 1.1(7), 1.3(9), 3.7(26), 8.7(55)

Goals: Torquay – Patrick Hughes 6, Matt Boag 3, Lucas Anderson 2, Tom Diamond, Nathan Mifsud, Reef Page, Max Hurley, Harry Mcleod. Ocean Grove – Jacob Talarico 3, Brady Pritchard, Connor Asquith, Jame Robbins, Ben Coote.

Best: Torquay – Patrick Hughes, Max Hurley, Billy Henderson, Charlie Ham, Baxter Mensch, Jacob Ireland. Ocean Grove – Joshua Lange, Tom Chalkley, Benjamin Bennett, Kye Annand, Max Sutton, Jacob Talarico.