K rock Football

Drought over for Seagulls

Co-coach Mitch Herbison (right) celebrates a goal with teammates. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

BARWON Heads’ 26-year premiership drought is over following a 14-point win over Torquay in the BFL Grand Final at McCartney Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The Seagulls, whose last success came in 1993, kept the Tigers to just in the second half on its way to a 13.7 (85) to 10.11 (71) victory.

Barwon Heads, which entered the match as favourites after strong qualifying and second semi-final wins, settled best with the aid of a slight breeze to the Great Ocean Road end.

Otto Opperman, vice-captain Ned Auslebrook and Mitch Phelps all kicked goals in the opening 10 minutes to give the Seagulls a 17-point buffer.

Torquay responded through back-to-back goals from Matt Deledio before Barwon Heads ended the term with two goals to Brad Harvey and one to Michael Philip to have a handy 25-point lead at quarter time.

Callum Currie gave the Tigers a bright start to the second quarter before Seagulls co-coach Mitch Herbison responded with a classy set shot that restored the 25-point advantage.

Torquay then clicked into gear with consecutive goals to Jack Heathcote, followed by majors for Paul McMahon and Currie that levelled the score at 44.

However, it was Barwon Heads’ response that would prove to be the game-changer, with Braden Eddy, Phelps and big man Brock Close all kicking goals in time-on of the second quarter that pushed the margin back to 17 points.

If the first half was full of free-flowing, attractive football, the second half couldn’t have been more of a contrast.

Mitch Phelps kicked the only goal of the term at the 18-minute mark with a classy finish from the pocket that left the Tigers with a 24-point deficit to overhaul.

Any hope of a Torquay comeback was quickly put to bed when Jayden McLauchlan and Chris Martin extended the margin to 35 points by the five-minute mark of the final term.

Heathcote and Currie both kicked their third goals to give the Tigers a glimmer of hope.

However, the Barwon Heads defence was able to hold steady to claim its fifth BFL premiership.

Twitter: @tom_king79
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BARWON HEADS  6.2, 10.2, 11.6, 13.8 (86)

TORQUAY 2.1, 7.3, 7.6, 10.11 (71)

Goals; Barwon Heads: M. Phelps 3, B. Harvey 2, O. Opperman, N. Aulsebrook, M. Philp, M. Herbison, B. Close, B. Eddy, C. Martin, J. McLauchlan

Torquay:  J. Heathcote 4, C. Currie 3, M. Deledio 2, P. McMahon

Best; Barwon Heads: Z. Walter, R. Harvey, M. Herbison, M. Phelps, O. Opperman, K. Polley

Torquay: D. Gleeson, J. Saker, N. Garner, B. Raidme, A. Burchell, S. Wormald