By Justin Flynn
Ocean Grove is headed to the Bellarine Netball League A Grade finals in fine form after disposing of fifth-placed Modewarre in dominant fashion on Saturday.
The Grubbers won by 19 goals in wet conditions and meet arch rivals Barwon Heads and top side Geelong Amateur in the final two rounds.
Coach Nikki Cooke said it is an ideal run-in before the finals with Ocean Grove already guaranteed a double chance.
“We prefer to be heading into finals having tougher games because they prepare you for a finals-like atmosphere and get you ready,” she said.
“Last time we played them (Ammos) we had a few out and won by a couple.
“It was nice to deliver that result (against Modeware) in those conditions.
“It’s the first time we have played a whole game in the rain. To see the girls stick it out through those conditions was really pleasing.”
Ocean Grove’s B Grade is still unbeaten, but still has some work to do to ensure the minor premiership is theirs.
A final round match-up against second placed Ammos could decide who gets top spot and the week’s rest.
“We only beat them by one last time we played them,” Cooke said.
“We had one or two out and they were missing one of their main goalers.
“Finishing on top is always great, but it always concerns me going through the season undefeated as you don’t want a loss to happen in the grand final.
“We’re looking forward to having a crack at them again. Last time was a high standard game, nice and clean.”
Likewise, the C Grade team is unbeaten with a three-game break and can’t be usurped from the top of the ladder.
Cooke said consistency was the reason the side had been doing so well.
“They’ve got a very similar side to last year and some strong combinations who have been playing together for some time,” she said.
“They have depth and a lot of options. They can throw players around.”
In D Grade, it will likely come down to the final round against Ammos to see who finishes on top.
Only percentage separates Ammos on top from the Grubbers in second.
“They have great depth on their bench especially through their goaling ring and midcourt,” Cooke said of the Grubbers.
“They have the ability to change things up on the day.”
The E Grade Grubbers are also on top, unbeaten, and well clear of second spot. They have earned the right to have the first week of the finals off.
“They are a group of ladies who are just so excited to be back out on court and enjoying each other’s company,” Cooke said.
The 19 and Under team is fifth and faces a battle to stay there.
Games against Barwon Heads (first) and Geelong Amateur (seventh) will decide their fate.
The good news is that Ocean Grove’s destiny is in its own hands, being half a game clear of Drysdale and a game clear of Ammos.
The double chance isn’t beyond them either, with only two wins separating second placed Queenscliff and seventh placed Geelong Amateur.
A Grade: Ocean Grove 53 def Modewarre 34. Best: Kelsey Ollis, Rhiannon Whitson, Rebecca O’Neill. Goals: Rebecca O’Neill 45, Ashton O’Brien 7, Jesse Sutton 1.
B Grade: Ocean Grove 49 def Modewarre 40. Best: Meg Badrock, Jesse Sutton, Shelby Hackett. Goals: Jesse Sutton 21, Emma Badrock 14, Nikki Cooke 14.
C Grade: Ocean Grove 25 def Modewarre 24. Best: Amelia Cunningham, Kellie Morrish, Gemma Bell. Goals: Amelia Cunningham 18, Kate Titheridge 5, Shereen Wolfe 2.
D Grade: Ocean Grove 25 def Modewarre 20. Best: Tina Birch, Paula Birch, Emma Sinkinson. Goals: Tina Birch 12, Danielle Baker 11, Hannah Quinn 2.
E Grade: Ocean Grove 29 def Modewarre 26. Best: Maggie Lee, Taylah Jeffrey, Lara Barnes. Goals: Maggie Lee 11, Belinda Elliston 7, Monica Stokes 6, Famie Needham 5.
19/U: Ocean Grove 22 def Modewarre 18. Best: Anabelle Sargeant, Abbey Cowley, Chloe Jeffrey. Goals: Isabella Maier 8, Abbey Cowley 5, Sarah Fecchio 5, Abbey Stanic 4.
17/U Division 1: Ocean Grove 47 def Modewarre 6. Best: Anika Bult, Lucy Sampson, Chelsea Ferguson. Goals: Anika Bult 31, Lucy Sampson 16.
17/U Division 2: Ocean Grove bye
15/U Division 1: Ocean Grove 34 def Modewarre 7. Best: Billie Cook, Amelia Stanic, Maggie Drake. Goals: Poppy Hart 16, Adele Mills 11, Bella Wearmouth 7.
15/U Division 2: Ocean Grove 47 def Modewarre 3. Best: Kayla Forward, Annika Willis, Bella Mawson. Goals: Abhi Sanjeev 22, Scarlet Sadler 11, Bella Mawson 8, Annika Willis 6.
13/U Section 1: Ocean Grove 34 def Modewarre 4. Best: Alice Sampson, Briella Considine, Reagan McKenzie. Goals: not supplied
13/U Section 2: Ocean Grove bye