Barwon Heads Reserves have fallen two points short in a heartbreaking loss to Modewarre in the Preliminary Final. In a replay of the Qualifying Final played a fortnight earlier when the Heads prevailed by a goal, this game was always going to be a tight contest and whichever side took its chances would emerge the winner and qualify to play Torquay in the Grand Final next Saturday.
In cold, windy and tough conditions, Modewarre kicked the opening goal as the game begun in a ferocious manner with contested footy at the forefront. This game was never going to be an open free flowing contest but a test of resolve and toughness. “Big Red” Jake Stainsby was dominating in the ruck and giving onballers Pete Swinton, Hugh “Excitement Machine” O’Brien, Mick Salmon and Harrison Mitchell opportunities. Lloyd McIntyre kicked the Heads opening goal as Modewarre had a slight lead. The second quarter saw TP kick a fine long goal and when livewire small forward got out the back of the Modewarre defence to kick truly, the Heads led by 4 points at the long break. Unfortunately Dylan “The Rock” O’Leary was injured and would not return for the second half.
The Barwon Heads defence led by Billy Pelham, “Menace” O’Leary, Harry Walker, Connor McKinnon, Lloyd McIntyre, Matt Bolger and Brad Slorach were resolute.
The Heads established its biggest lead of the game when the “Fridge” Jordan Kinsey kicked the opening goal of the third quarter – more opportunities arise but the Heads couldn’t capitalise. Modewarre would not Kay down and they dominated the last 10 minutes of the quarter to reduce the lead to 3 points at the final break.
The final quarter was a dour struggle as players from both sides were courageous in their attack on the ball – Tim Chapman, Chris Varsamakis, “Yappa” Lowson, Mick Salmon and Peter Swinton were busy and the Heads defence were great but Modewarre would not be denied as they kicked consecutive goals to open up an 8 point lead. The Heads would not lay down and a goal after a 50 metre penalty to Sachin reduced the lead to 2 points as only minutes remained. The Heads were unable to win the last centre clearance and multiple stoppages ensued with 20 players around the ball as Modewarre were able to “kill” the final two minutes to win by 2 points.
Modewarre 5.10 (40) defeated Barwon Heads 5.8 (38)
GOALKICKERS : Michell 1, McIntyre 1, Everett 1, Pocock 1, Kinsey 1
BEST PLAYERS : Pelham, Walker, McKinnon, Chapman, Lowson, Stainsby.
Congratulations to coach David Orchard and his Assistant Tim McIntyre, Team Manager John “The Moth” O’Leary, Timekeeper Russell Walker and Umpires Escort Tim “Gyp” Peter and all the other players who assisted throughout the season as water carriers etc. The players were well led by Captain Billy Pelham and the players did an outstanding job throughout the season.