Grubbers courageous win against the odds

Key mark target: Grubber Mark Laidler takes a chest mark in his five-goal haul in Ocean Grove's 22-point win over Drysdale. 156070 Pictures: JAMIE CULLUM


DOWN to 20 fit players Ocean Grove recorded its most impressive victory of 2016 with a gutsy 22-point win over Drysdale at Mortimer Oval on 25 June.
Dynamite Grubber forward Travis Gavin, who kicked two goals, was hospitalised with illness, while gun on-baller Jahd Anderson was stretchered off with concussion.
Both Gavin and Anderson took no part in the game after half-time and play stopped for 10 minutes in the second term while Anderson was carried from the ground by club trainers after a collision.
Ocean Grove coach Wayne Walsh praised his side’s performance given its limited bench options.
“Good win, well deserved, young players were great,” Walsh said.
Opposition Drysdale coach Wade Chapman paid tribute to the Grubbers after its interchange bench was restricted to two players.
“Ocean Grove they had a couple of injuries,” Chapman said.
“Full credit to (Ocean Grove) they got the four points, it was a good win by them.”
Final scores Ocean Grove 13.9 (87) to Drysdale 10.5 (65).
The Grubbers have scored two wins against the Hawks in 2016 after a 34-point win in round one at Shell Road Reserve.
The round 13 game was the first time Ocean Grove defeated a higher-ranked team in 2016.
The win left the eighth-placed Grubbers with a 5-8 record circling the BFL’s top five with one win fewer and a lower percentage than fifth-placed Torquay.
Grubber veteran Mark Laidler in only his fourth senior match of 2016 was the star forward with five goals.
Laidler’s last senior outing prior to Drysdale was against Geelong Amateur in round three on 9 April.
It was the 32-year-old’s best return since he kicked four goals against Anglesea at Alcoa Oval in round nine of 2014.
The Hawks took a four-point lead at quarter time despite more forward entries in first term from Ocean Grove.
Drysdale increased its lead during the second term with more centre clearances and led the Grubbers by six points at the main break.
Young Grubber pair Matt Caldow and Kaiden Long were forced to shoulder a lot of work in defence and did well to minimise Drysdale’s resurgence.
A late goal just before half time from Grubber star recruit James Linton – who kicked three majors – gave the visitors momentum heading into the main break.
The Grubbers produced a quality third term and snared five goals to lead by 12 points at the last break.
Laidler, who played as a deep marking forward target, was rewarded with his accuracy at goal to help the visitors leap ahead.
Ocean Grove’s more experienced bodies ran the game out better than a youthful Drysdale side.
All of the Hawks senior players were under the age of 30 except for Simon Scott, 30, who booted three goals for the home side.
The Grubbers kicked three goals compared to the Hawks’ two majors in the final quarter.
In other developments, the Grubbers have secured the services of youngster Matt Caldow for 2017.
The 19-year-old senior vice-captain has played crucial roles in defence this season.
In the reserves curtain-raiser, ninth-placed Ocean Grove challenged second-placed Drysdale and went down by 29 points.
Final scores were Drysdale 10.10 (70) to Ocean Grove 6.5 (41).
Visitors Ocean Grove cut the deficit to nine points against Drysdale at three-quarter time.
The Hawks extended the margin in the final term with four goals compared to Ocean Grove’s one major.
Key forward Matt McCartney continued his great season and booted three goals.
In the under-18 Colts Division 2, Ocean Grove 1 defeated Drysdale 1 by 16 points at Mortimer Oval. Final scores Ocean Grove 11.10 (76) to Drysdale 8.12 (60).
Grubber Mitchell Lindkvist snared three majors.
In the under-18 Division 4 clash, Ocean Grove 2 defeated Drysdale 2 by eight points. Final scores Ocean Grove 9.7 (61) to Drysdale 7.11 (53).
Grubber Sam Beasley kicked three goals for the visitors.

Ocean Grove 13.9 (87) d Drysdale 10.5 (65)
Ocean Grove
Goals: M. Laidler 5, J. Linton 3, T. Gavin 2, D. Freeman, K. Williams, A. Baxter.
Best: M. Caldow, K. Long, J. Linton, M. Laidler, J. Teague, D. King.