Barwon Heads held off a vastly improved and determined Newcomb to advance to a 5 win 2 loss record in a home game 13 point win. The Seagulls made 4 changes from its round 6 loss to Drysdale – playing coach Mitch Herbison and Braeden Eddy returned from injury, Noah Young was promoted for his first senior game in 2019 and Geelong Falcons listed young gun Charlie Sprague made his senior debut. Injured defenders Dylan Holland and Sam Evans went out of the side with youngster Dom Booth and Brad Michell.
In mild and windy conditions, Barwon Heads begun well against the wind with key forward Damien Horbury prominent early with strong marking but unfortunately he didn’t have his kicking boots on. In fact defender Michael Philp opened goal scoring after a 50 metre penalty to convert a set shot opportunity. Small forward Mitch Phelps was lively and converted twice to establish an early lead. Newcomb were able to convert a couple of opportunities to register goals. Tyson Macilwain was prominent in the ruck and Ned Aulsebrook, Otto Opperman, Matt Dyer, James Wills, Harrison Mitchell and Braeden Eddy were winning plenty of the ball. Chris Martin kicked our fourth goal and at quarter time we had established a 15 point lead.
The second quarter begun with the Heads increasing its lead with goals to Mitch Gaunt, Tim McIntyre and a third major to Mitch Phelps. Charlie Sprague was building into the game and defenders J-Mac, Kizza, Zach Walter, Wayne Barrett and Matty B were busy. Undoubtedly Newcomb lifted during this quarter and they started to win more of the ball and they certainly looked up for the fight and this lift in intensity resulted in the Power kicking the two final goals to trail by 21 points at the long break.
The second half begun under gloomy skies and the game had developed into an arm wrestle. Barwon Heads were defending grimly but Newcomb continued to surge forward and their efforts were rewarded with their key forwards taking some strong contested marks to convert. Mitch Gaunt snapped a great goal but Newcomb’s confidence was surging as the margin was reduced to 3 points at three quarter time.
The last quarter begun with the game in the balance and Barwon Heads workhorse Matty “Dogga” Dyer again stepped up with his presence and physicality to kick consecutive goals and inspire his team mates. Mitch Herbison was a great presence up forward and kicked multiple goals and could have had a huge quarter except for poor conversion and Tim McIntyre and Noah Young also hit the scoreboard. Whilst Barwon Heads threatened to break the game open, to Newcomb’s credit they continued to fight and kick goals throughout the quarter to keep the game tight and final margin to 13 points.
Barwon Heads 14.15 (99) defeated Newcomb 13.8 (86)
GOALKICKERS: Phelps 3, McIntyre 2, Herbison 2, Gaunt 2, Dyer 2, Philp 1, Martin 1, Young 1
BEST PLAYERS: Macilwain, McLauchlan, Dyer, Opperman
RESERVES WIN 5 IN A ROW
Barwon Heads recorded its 5th consecutive win with a comprehensive 95 point victory over Newcomb to consolidate a spot in the top five. Brock Close was the star with a great first half at centre half back before switching up forward and kicking 7 second half goals. Midfielders Mick Salmon, Pete Swinton, Tim Chapman, BJ, Rock, Yappa Lowson and Chris Varsamakis were prominent. Defenders Billy Pelham, Sean O’Leary, Lloyd McIntyre, Matty Bolger and Harry Walker were solid contributors. Small forwards Sammy Everett, Xavier Hamilton and Nic McMahon were lively and ruckmen Jake Stainsby and Oscar Young teamed with Mr Fixit High O’Brien to be prominent. It was great to see Darcy Hewitt play his first game in 2019 and the Fridge returned from a hammy and was significant and first gamer Will Hawkes was solid.
Barwon Heads 15.21 (111) defeated Newcomb 2.4 (16)
GOALKICKERS: Close 7, Varsamakis 2, Hewitt 1, Kinsey 1, Everett 1, McMahon 1, Chapman 1, Michell 1
BEST PLAYERS: Close, Lowson, Salmon, Swinton, Walker, Kinsey
Next week in Round 8 Barwon Heads host Anglesea in a crucial game.