By Mark Heenan
Ocean Grove suffered its second biggest defeat of 2019 on Saturday and the 15-goal loss to Torquay was compounded with key injuries to two experienced players.
Ocean Grove was outplayed by an in-form Torquay at McCartney Oval at Spring Creek Reserve.
Final scores Torquay 17.19 (121) defeated Ocean Grove 3.10 (28) on 27 July.
The Grubbers have now dipped to ninth spot on the ladder while the resurgent Tigers charged into the top five.
Ocean Grove senior co-captain Justin Carey sustained a dislocated compound fracture to his left finger and was rushed from the ground in the early stages of the third quarter.
Carey, who suffered tendon damage, remains in doubt for the Grubbers three remaining games.
Moments later Grubber swingman Peter Hardy hobbled to interchange bench with a groin injury and took no further part in game.
Injuries restricted the youthful Ocean Grove team rotations after half time, youngster Ryan Symonds went down with a corked thigh.
“We weren’t playing that well at that stage anyway, but it did restrict us from getting back into the game having one on the bench in the last half,” Ocean Grove interim coach David King said.
“That is footy though – we still played out the best we can and we know where we are at.
“They (the players) genuinely cared and they were upset after the game and didn’t get closer.”
Torquay senior playing coach Dom Glesson said he was wary of thee Grubbers before the game despite their season only yielding three victories for 2019.
“It is a bit of a wounded dog type scenario – you are a little bit worried about them you don’t know how they are going to react,” Glesson told the Voice.
“Always against Ocean Grove we have some good battles.
“I know they are up against it, but I think they have got the right people in the right seats, I think they lost their way a bit late, the deficit looks a bit worse than what it should have been.”
The Tigers won the ball and triggered turnovers from the Grubbers in the opening stages of first quarter.
Ocean Grove hit back half-way through the first term and slowed the play down to end quarter and trailed by 13 points at quarter time.
Torquay gun onballer Ben Raidme was instrumental in the first half setting up vital plays, which resulted in goals for the home side, while Tiger team-mates Jonathan Hobbs and Paul Burchell were named in the Tigers’ best.
“We’ve got some smart heads with Jonny Hobbs and even Paul Burchell who played GFL footy, Ben (Raidme) had a great game – I think there was couple of others down back that (helped) got our focus back,” Glesson said.
“They (Ocean Grove) really fought hard for a good quarter.”
Tiger forward Jack Heathcote finished with six goals while Callum Currie booted three.
Grubber defender Kaiden Long was named in his side’s best, while gun midfielder Luke Cartelli returned from injury and played his first match since Round 10.
Jake Ward, Kaiden Long and youngster Fletcher Long all booted one goal
Long kicked a sensational snap on goal from the boundary line prior to the three-quarter time siren.
OCEAN Grove will face the winless Portarlington in its final home game of the season this Saturday. RESERVES
OCEAN Grove dropped outside the top five for the first time since Round 2 after a 48-point loss to Torquay in its reserves clash.
Final scores Torquay 12.10 (82) defeated Ocean Grove 5.4 (34).
The eight-goal margin was the Grubbers’ biggest defeat in 2019 and their fifth loss from the past six matches.
Torquay kept the Grubbers scoreless in the second term and led by 44 points at the main break.
Grubber playing coach Cheyne Kelly was the only multiple goalkicker for his team with two goals.