In a bruising and physical game against Drysdale away, Barwon Heads entered the game with 3 changes – Ryan Harvey and Braeden Eddy missed with injury and Brock Close was dropped. Into the side came Matthew Dyer and Michael Philp returning from injury and Mitch Gaunt was promoted. Playing coach Mitch Herbison missed a second consecutive game through injury.
The game opened with Drysdale having the aid of a breeze and Barwon Heads was defending stoutly with Sam Evans an early standout with his intercept marking. Dizzy Holland, Kizza, J-Mac, Philpy and Matty B were resolute in defence and the team was winning plenty of possession, but the connection to the forward line was haphazard at best. Otto and Ned were busy in the middle and come quarter time, Drysdale had been restricted to one goal.
The second quarter commenced with Drysdale kicking 3 early goals through centre clearance domination and Barwon Heads were on the back foot. Sammy Evans was out of the game at quarter time through injury and Barwon Heads weren’t able to hit the scoreboard until Tim McIntyre found some space through improved ball movement, to kick consecutive goals. Just on half time Drysdale goaled again to establish a 20 point lead at half time.
A few home truths were delivered at half time and the Heads came out breathing fire at the start of the third quarter. Big Tyson took control in the middle and on ballers Willsy, Dogga, Stepho and Harrison became more proactive, and up forward Mitch Gaunt and Strawbs came alive. Zac Walter was outstanding across half back, and Wayno, Dom, Marto and BJ all got more involved as we dominated possession and multiple goals to Strawbs and to the wounded Mitch Phelps, resulted in the Heads leading by 2 points at the final break.
Barwon Heads commenced the final quarter still dominating possession and had some gilt edged chances to increase our lead but were unable to do so early. Finally Dogga kicked a great running goal to increase the lead but unfortunately Phelpsy couldn’t run with his corkie and Drysdale lifted as they sensed that we were running out of troops. Our defence continued to perform strongly and an arm wrestle between both sides ensued. In a tense final quarter the “rub of the green” with a couple of decisions didn’t go our way, Drysdale were now dominating possession and their continuous forward 50’s finally resulted in them kicking 4 late goals, to run out a 25 point win to boast a 4/2 win loss ratio.
Drysdale 10.10 (70) defeated Barwon Heads 6.9 (45)
GOALKICKERS: McIntyre 2, Horbury 2, Phelps 1, Dyer 1
BEST PLAYERS: Holland, Polley, Macilwain, Martin
RESERVES DEFEAT TOP OF THE LADDER HAWKS
Barwon Heads reserves defeated top side Drysdale to record their fourth consecutive victory to lift themselves into the top 5. Undoubtedly this game was the best standard game of the season and it was pleasing to see the team respond to the challenge. Both Mick Salmon and Chris Varsamakis returning from injury emphasised their importance by playing key roles in the victory. The win was even more meritorious considering the absence of Team Manager, John “Moth” O’Leary who was replaced by Tim “Gyprock” Peter, in a key change to our reserves. Excitement machine Hugh O’Brien was back to his inspirational best, providing plenty of highlights (good and bad). Yappa was terrific and Brock Close was like a rock in defence and had great support by Billy Pelham who played under duress. Sammy Everett provided a “highlight” by missing a goal from one meter out but his pressure and courage was again inspirational to his team mates.
Barwon Heads 10.7 (67) defeated Drysdale 9.8 (62)
GOALKICKERS: O’Brien 2, Varsamakis 2, Salmon 1, Noah Young 1, Chapman 1, McMahon 1, McKinnon 1, Everett 1
BEST PLAYERS: Salmon, Varsamakis, O’Brien, Close, Lowson, Pelham
This week the representative game takes place between BFL and GDFL and round 7 will be Saturday 25th May when Barwon Heads hosts the vastly improved Newcomb at home ground, Howard Harmer Oval.