Grubber heartbreak

Finals hopes nosedive: Ocean Grove forward Brayden Warren is brought down by a tackle in Grove's four-point loss to signal the end of its slim finals hopes. 155748 Picture: JAMIE CULLUM


BFL contenders Modewarre put the Grubbers’ fading finals hopes to the sword after Ocean Grove suffered a heart-breaking four-point loss at Shell Road on Saturday 18 June.
In a gripping finish played in wintry conditions at Ocean Grove, Modewarre shrugged off a last quarter challenge from the home side to win a thriller.
Ocean Grove, who trailed by 19 points at three-quarter time, kicked three of the last four goals to almost capture victory in the shadows of full time.
Final scores Modewarre 9.12 (66) Ocean Grove 9.8 (62).
The narrow loss left eighth-placed Ocean Grove with a 4-8 record after 12 rounds.
It was only Modewarre’s third win against Ocean Grove in their last 21 attempts.
It follows the Warriors’ seven-point win over the Grubbers at Community Bank Oval earlier in the season in round four.
Modewarre, who overcame league leaders Queenscliff by six points on 4 June currently sit inside the BFL’s top five with a 7-5 record.
Modewarre playing coach, Josh Finch was wary the Grubbers would respond in the final term given its season was on the line.
Despite another loss, the young Grubbers have remained competitive all season with five of its eight defeats 25 points or less.
“That is (Ocean Grove’s) competitiveness and I said that to the group, they were going to come at us,” Finch told the Voice.
“They (Ocean Grove) were going to get some momentum at some point and they took their chances.”
Finch also defended his side’s heavy ‘tag’ on star Grubber midfield target James Linton.
Linton, who booted two majors and was named in the best players, kept the Grubbers’ hopes alive with an inspirational late goal off a pack in the final minutes.
“We had a player to run with him (Linton) – if you don’t do it he will win the game off his own back,” Finch said.
“Pure and simple – he (Linton) is an absolute star of the competition.
“You have to do it, otherwise your backs are against the wall … if you let him run around and have 40 touches … don’t have someone with him and he will do so much damage it is not funny.”
The tough conditions on the bigger surrounds at Shell Road made for a low-scoring contest between both sides, with only four goals kicked in the first quarter.
Ocean Grove led at half-time by four points, the highlight a brilliant individual snap on goal from Grubber skipper Kelly Williams.
Williams, who kicked two goals, returned alongside Liam Rock and defender Kaiden Long after the trio were rested for the Newcomb clash in round 11.
The pendulum swung in the third quarter as Modewarre kicked 3.7 at the favourable northern end against the Grubbers who scored only one behind.
Ocean Grove outscored Modewarre 4.3 to 2.0 in a pulsating last term.
Grubber youngster James Wills impressed with two goals.
For Modewarre, Finch kicked two goals while Warrior team-mate Michael Farrelly booted two majors.
OCEAN Grove will face an away task against an improved Drysdale in round 12.
The Hawks have turned their season around after its 0-3 start with a 6-6 record.
The Grubbers defeated Drysdale by 34 points in round one.
Ocean Grove’s Seniors match starts at 2.10pm at Mortimer Oval.
IN an entertaining curtain raiser, a gallant and competitive Ocean Grove lost to Modewarre by seven points in the Reserves grade, 10.8.68 to 9.7.61. Ninth-placed Ocean Grove hit the lead against the Warriors in an exciting last term.
Two inspirational fourth quarter goals from Ocean Grove’s Jack Waymouth kept his side in the contest late in the game.
IN the Under-18 Colts Division 2, Ocean Grove 1 defeated Drysdale Wilson by 24 points.
Grubber Tom Ryan kicked four goals.
In the Under-18 Division 4 clash, Grovedale 2 defeated Ocean Grove 2 by 68 points.
Ocean Grove led by four points at the first break.
Grovedale kicked 13 goals compared to the Grubbers’ two majors after quarter-time to seal victory.

MODEWARRE 9.12.66 d OCEAN GROVE 9.8.62
Ocean Grove
Goals: J. Wills 2, D. King 2, K. Williams 2, T. Gavin, J. Milnes, J. Linton
Best: M. Caldow, J. Wills, M. Rotumah-Onus, H. Walker, J. Linton, D. King