K rock Football

Gleeson proud of Tigers

Torquay captain Ben Raidme attempts to break the tackle of Barwon Heads forward Mitch Phelps. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

DOM Gleeson’s disappointment quickly shifted to pride in his playing group following Torquay’s 14-point BFL Grand Final loss to Barwon Heads.

The veteran midfielder, who showed why he shared the Ash Medal with John Meesen earlier this month with another tireless display, was upbeat despite the disappointment.

“You only have to look back 12 months ago to when we didn’t finish in the finals, and it was an embarrassment really,” Gleeson.

“We just had injuries at the wrong time, and the other sagas that were around the club earlier in the year, it really diminished us as a football club.

“But, it’s really shifted to being proud to be Torquay coach.

“The best news of the day was that – yes we had two (club) representatives in the reserves and seniors in football – our A Grade netball won.

“I’m super proud of that.”

Torquay, which was aiming to reclaim the mantle as the competition’s most successful club, matched it with the Seagulls for the majority of the contest.

Trailing by 18 points at half time with Barwon Heads aided by the breeze in the third quarter, the Tigers were able to hold their opponents to just one goal, leaving the margin at 23 points at three-quarter time.

The margin should have been closer, with Harrison Mackay missing when running into an open goal late in the term.

Consecutive goals from Jayden McLauchlan and Chris Martin at the start of the fourth quarter put paid to Torquay’s hopes.

“Unfortunately we just couldn’t finish when we were up against it (the breeze),” Gleeson lamented.

“There was a breeze in the last quarter, and we felt the momentum had swung our way.

“But, I feel the turning point was early in the last when they kicked two-in-a-row.

“Momentum is a beautiful thing in footy, and it just broke us, and that was the total (margin) in the end.”

Gleeson was also keen to pay tribute to the class with which veteran Tim Carty, who lost his spot in the senior team with the return of Paul McMahon, carried himself.

“Every bit of you wants them to handle it with class,” Gleeson said. “I don’t think I would have guessed how well he would have handled it.

“I don’t regret the decision because it had to be made, and we were in a really fortunate position where Paul McMahon had to come back in.

“I think our friendship will be even stronger after this. He’s just a classy human who I love and adore, and I thank for his buy-in.”

Twitter: @tom_king79
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