Heads extend dominance

Travis Gavin was in the thick of the action for Ocean Grove against Barwon Heads on Saturday. 156869 Pictures: JAMIE CULLUM


ARCH-rival Barwon Heads effectively ended the Grubbers’ 2016 BFL finals hopes with a comfortable 38-point victory at Ray Menzies Oval on Saturday.
The dejected look on the Ocean Grove players’ faces was displayed, the home side falling to its fifth consecutive Battle of the Bridge loss.
Ocean Grove coach Wayne Walsh said his team did not deserve to play finals with its inability to beat a top five BFL side in 2016.
“You can’t keep saying we can make it (finals) when we play like that – realistically we still can, but I don’t think it will happen,” Walsh said.
Ocean Grove has not beaten Barwon Heads since round 14 of 2014 and won’t have the chance to reclaim Battle of the Bridge honours until 2017.
Final scores Barwon Heads 15.10 (100) to Ocean Grove 9.8 (62).
Despite being one game and percentage off fifth-placed Torquay, Ocean Grove remains in seventh spot with a 6-9 record after 15 rounds.
The dream appears more alive for sixth-paced Barwon Heads to make the finals with a 7-8 record.
The Seagulls face Newcomb (home), Modewarre (away) and Anglesea (away) in the final three rounds.
Barwon Heads’ young gun Brandon Ryan was a shining light for the visitors with seven goals.
Walsh praised the promising forward, who booted three majors in the first quarter.
“I’m really not surprised how well he performed. I saw him play earlier in the year in a practice match,” Walsh said.
“We let him just jump and mark the ball and we did not use our body on him.”
The Grubbers jumped out of the blocks in the first term with two early goals from Mark Laidler.
Barwon Heads quickly clawed its way back to gain first use of ball at stoppages and set up a 25-point lead at quarter-time.
Former Ocean Grove player Bryn Weadon, who kicked two goals, roamed free for the Seagulls and gathered disposals at will against his old side.
“I think we thought the first 10 minutes it was going to be our day and we got lazy pretty quick and run forward of the footy and did not worry about defending,” Walsh said.
The second quarter saw the Heads extend their margin to 32 points at the main break.
The Grubbers were on the burst early after half-time with two goals inside the first five minutes of the third term.
Barwon Heads responded thanks to some impressive contributions from Weadon and Wayne Barrett and the Seagulls never looked back to record a six-goal plus victory.
The first ever Battle of the Bridge match held at the Ray Menzies Oval Shell Road sporting precinct was one of Ocean Grove’s biggest home game attendances for 2016.
AFL icon Mick Malthouse who coached West Coast and Collingwood to three premierships, was a special guest at the pre-match luncheon which sold more than 100 tickets.
“It was one of the biggest (home games) including the Easter home game,“ Ocean Grove Football Netball Club president Tony Potter said.
OCEAN Grove will now face finals contender Torquay on the Tigers’ home surrounds this Saturday.
Senior game starts at 2.10pm at Spring Creek Reserve.
Torquay remains favourite to book the last remaining finals berth with matches against ninth-placed Portarlington in round 17 and the current winless Newcomb in round 18.
In contrast, the Grubbers face a tougher task with games against Anglesea (home) in round 17 and second-placed Queenscliff (away) in round 18.
IT was a double celebration for Barwon Heads, the Seagulls cruised to a 74-point win over Ocean Grove in the Reserves grade.
Final scores Barwon Heads 17.11 (113) defeated Ocean Grove 6.3 (39).
The 12-goal plus win saw Barwon Heads move to fifth spot on the ladder with a 8-7 record, while Ocean Grove is in ninth place with a 2-13 record.
Seagull Jordan Kinsey led the charge with five goals while team-mate Zak Porter booted four majors.
Ocean Grove trio Wayde Piec, Matt McCartney and Andrew McLeish all kicked two goals apiece.
IN the Under-18 Colts Division 2 clash, a gallant Ocean Grove lost a thriller against Barwon Heads by four points at Ray Menzies Oval.
The Grubbers, who trailed by 21 points at three-quarter time, fought back and doubled their score with five goals in the final term.
Final scores Barwon Heads 8.14 (62) to Ocean Grove 9.4 (58).
In the Under-18 Division 4 game, Grubber Lachlan Slater kicked five goals in Ocean Grove 2’s 43-point win over Drysdale 2 at Ray Menzies Oval.
Ocean Grove youngster Craig Goodger booted three goals.
Final scores Ocean Grove 12.7 (79) to Drysdale 5.6 (36).

BARWON HEADS 15.10 (100) def OCEAN GROVE 9.8 (62)
Ocean Grove
Goals: D. Freeman 3, M. Laidler 2, M. King 2, A. Baxter, M. Rotumah-Onus
Best: J. Linton, A. Baxter, M. Caldow, D. King, A. Jarvis, K. Williams