Barwon Heads have triumphed and broken a 26 year premiership drought by defeating Torquay by 14 points in yesterday’s Bellarine Football League Grand Final at Torquay.
Barwon Heads fresh from an 89 point victory in the second semi final made 3 changes for the Grand Final – into the side came 3 players returning from injury – Brad Harvey and Dylan Holland from dislocated shoulders and Lachlan Slorach with a lacerated ear that required plastic surgery. Out of the side went the unlucky Ben Stephens, Tim Chapman and Luke Michell.
In lovely sunny conditions in front of a huge crowd, Barwon Heads came out firing with the opening two goals which were a result of crunching tackles being rewarded and Otto Opperman and Ned Aulsebrook converting. Mitch Herbison and Ryan Harvey were prominent early and up back Kyle Polley, Zac Walter, Xavier Everett, Damien Horbury and Dylan Holland were defending well. Small forward Mitch Phelps kicked the Seagulls third before Torquay responded strongly with Matthew Deledio kicking consecutive goals. The last 10 minutes saw key forward snap his first followed by a strong mark and a second goal. Michael Philp who was playing as a defensive forward marked and kicked truly from 40 metres as the Seagulls had 6 first quarter goals.
Torquay started the second quarter and showed their intent by dominating clearances and some undisciplined free kicks by the Heads resulted in Torquay kicking goals through Callum Currie (2), Jack Heathcote (2) and Paul McMahon. Herbi kicked a great angle goal early in the quarter before the Torquay surge saw scores level late in the second quarter. This was the critical moment in the game and Barwon Heads responded strongly by kicking 3 goals through Mitch Phelps, Braeden Eddy and Brock Close as the Heads held a 17 point lead at the long break.
Barwon Heads had the chance to grab the game by the scruff of the neck in the third quarter with the wind but Torquay closed the game up on the defensive flank as the Heads couldn’t generate any run and flow. Young guns Charlie Sprague and Charlie Brauer were prominent whilst evergreen veteran Matty Dyer was tireless in the midfield. Sam Evans went forward to match the 7 defenders which Torquay had set up and provided an instant spark. Lachlan Slorach and Logan Mitchell increased their output and eventually the goal drought was broken by a great Mitch Phelps goal to lead by 4 goals at the last break with Torquay having the wind in the last quarter.
Barwon Heads grabbed the early initiative in the last quarter with Jaydan McLauchlan and Chris Martin kicking the opening two goals of the quarter. Torquay were not going to surrender and they continued to attack ferociously – the Heads defence led by Kyle Polley, Zac Walter, Xavier Everett, Charlie Sprague, Sam Evans defended bravely and although Torquay kicked 3 goals, the Heads won a gripping Grand Final by 14 points.
Barwon Heads 13.7 (85) defeated Torquay 10.11 (71)
GOALKICKERS : Phelps 3, Brad Harvey 2, Opperman 1, Martin 1, McLauchlan 1, Close 1, Herbison 1, Philp 1, Eddy 1, Aulsebrook 1
BEST PLAYERS : All 22 players
Congratulations to coaches Troy Mitchell and Mitch Herbison, all assistant coaches, medical staff, water carriers, support staff, volunteers etc.
OUR MISSION HAS BEEN COMPLETED