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Grubbers not conceding

Ocean Grove coach Paul Lynch. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

OCEAN Grove coach Paul Lynch knows a top-three finish for his team is unlikely, but the experienced mentor is refusing to concede the Grubbers fate will be an elimination final berth.

They sit two games adrift of third-placed Geelong Amateur, which will start favourites in four of their five remaining matches.

That means Ocean Grove will need to go undefeated through the final month of the season, starting this afternoon against Barwon Heads.

“We haven’t conceded, but reality is reality, and it’s probably a fair chance we’ll be playing Modewarre in an elimination final,” Lynch said.

“We’ll keep doing what we can control, and, as I said to them (the playing group) Tuesday night, we’ve got five weeks to get things right.

“We’re going to work on things that have been deficient in our game, and if it is an elimination final, we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go and there’s no excuses.

The Grubbers were kept to just two goals when they met the Seagulls in tough conditions at Ray Menzies Oval in Round 6.

“They certainly have that (Mitch) Herbison South Barwon stamp on them, the way they played,” Lynch said.

“They were very good structurally and they set-up well behind the footy like South Barwon have done for a very long time.

Ocean Grove will be boosted by the return of big man Andrew Jarvis, who will battle Tyson McIlwain in the ruck, while key defender Pete Hardy is also back and likely to get first crack at former Richmond big man Angus Graham, who will line-up for Barwon Heads for the first time.

However, Hardy, who comes tops out at 186cm will be giving away plenty of height and reach to the 201cm Graham.

“He’s not a big man, but he does play on the talls and does it very well,” Lynch said.

“I haven’t seen Pete get beat this year, it’s a good test for him.”

Twitter: @tom_king79