Barwon Heads hosted local rivals Ocean Grove in a crucial Round 17 game. The weather forecast was bleak with severe wintry conditions but this did not deter past players and sponsors coming out in force to support the Heads. Barwon Heads made 4 changes to the side that lost narrowly to Anglesea last week – into the side came Tim Chapman, Darcy Hewett, Wayne Barrett and Xavier Everett for his first senior game in 2019. Out of the side went vice captain Ned Aulsebrook and Chris Martin who were rested, Oliver Wiltshire returned to the Under 17’s and Brad Michell was dropped.
Barwon Heads begun the game on the back foot with Braeden Eddy injured in the warm up and was unable to take his place in the side and reduce us to 21 players – Brock Close was having a strong impact early and was combining with Otto Opperman, Ryan Harvey, James Wills and Mitch Herbison to create plenty of forward 50’s which was rewarded with goals to Tim Chapman and Jayden McLauchlan. The GRUBBERS also were able to hit the scoreboard with their infrequent forward entries with opportunistic goals to Taylor (2) and Maloney. Max Melzer, Kyle Polley, Wayne Barrett, Michael Philp and Matty Beckwith were defending strongly and when Brad Harvey kicked his first goal for the day, the Heads led by a couple of points at the first break.
The second quarter begun with us having the wind advantage and quickly increased our lead through multiple goals to Mitch Phelps, J-Mac, Damien Horbury, Herbi and Brad Harvey. Ocean Grove were winning possession at the stoppages and were able to kick two goals through the dangerous Luke Cartelli and Popple as the lead was 26 points at the long break.
The third quarter begun with the Heads playing stronger around the ball with Zac Walter, Matt Dyer and Brock Close busy and up back Xavier Everett, Lachlan Slorach and Darcy Hewitt prominent across the backline and Harrison Mitchell busy in the forward line. The Heads kept Ocean Grove to only one goal with the wind through Wilkie whilst able to kick 3 goals through Brad Harvey, Willsy and Strawbs to increase our lead to 41 points at the final break.
The heat had gone out of the game as Barwon Heads kept the GRUBBERS goalless in the final quarter but was only able to kick 3 goals from 8 scoring shots. Mitch Phelps capped off a strong game with two final quarter goals and midfielder also snapped a great goal as the Heads maintained possession of the trophy to run out solid 10 goal victors and secure a finals position.
Barwon Heads 15.17 (107) defeated Ocean Grove 6.11 (47)
GOALKICKERS : Phelps 4, Brad Harvey 3, Horbury 2, McLauchlan 2, Ryan Harvey 1, Herbison 1, Wills 1, Chapman 1
BEST PLAYERS : Phelps, McLauchlan, Chapman, Close, Philp, Polley
RESERVES CEMENT DOUBLE CHANCE
Barwon Heads confirmed third spot and the double chance with a comprehensive 98 point victory over Ocean Grove who had defeated the Heads in their previous clash.
A great team effort in difficult conditions and crisp and clean team work was evident throughput the game.
Barwon Heads 17.9 (111) defeated Ocean Grove 2.1 (13)
GOALKICKERS : Harmer 3, Kinsey 3, Luke Michell 3, Brad Michell 2, McIntyre 1, Everett 1, Pocock 1, Swinton 1, Dylan O’Leary 1, Varsamakis 1
BEST PLAYERS : Varsamakis, McIntyre, Swinton, Dylan O’Leary, Brad Michell, Luke Michell
Next week in Round 18 Barwon Heads travel to Geelong Amateurs in a crucial final home and away game – at senior level Geelong Amateurs are on top and at Reserves level the Ammos are in fifth spot. Get along and support the Heads next Saturday.