K rock Football

Son of a gun guides Grove to flag

Ocean Grove celebrates its under-19 Division 2 premiership win. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

A BEST-on-ground performance from influential forward Tom Richardson has helped Ocean Grove to its first premiership in the graded Colts/under-19 era following a 27-point win over Barwon Heads, 14.5 (89) to 10.2 (62).

Richardson, son of former Adelaide forward and local great Adam, kicked four goals as the Grubbers erased the disappointment of last year’s 11-point loss to Geelong Amateur.

“It was a pretty hard-fought win; they were really, really physical with us, almost to the point of being over the line,” coach Matt Tyrrell said.

“But that’s the way it goes with grand finals.

“I thought maybe our side would falter a little bit and take a step back, but we just kept pushing forward.

“It makes it all the more special.”

Leading by 26 points at three-quarter time, Tyrrell urged his player to maintain their composure in the final term.

“The game was at pace, but when we had control of the football we used it well,” he said.

“I just said to the boys, “we need to settle and parry what they’re going to throw at us”, which was the physical side of the game.

“But we were able to be composed and push through and win.”

Richardson, who spent time with the Geelong Falcons over the last two seasons and made five appearances at senior level in 2019, took his tally for the season 53 goals from 11 under-19 games.

The 17-year-old is still eligible for the under-19 competition in 2020. However, Tyrrell says it’s unlikely he’ll feature at that level next year.

“It’s almost illegal for him to play at under-19 level next year; he’s that big, he’s that much of a talent,” Tyrrell said.

“He’s a champion kid. He marches to the beat of his own drum, but it’s a good drum.

“The kid has got that much potential. He’s that stock-standard lead-up forward, but when he’s on the ground, he’s able to be damaging as well.

“I think the seniors are going to grab hold of him.”

And Tyrrell says Richardson won’t the be the only under-19 incoming senior coach Pete Davey will look at.

“There’s probably 6-7 ready-made to go straight in and have an impact,” he said.

“The development side of things for Ocean Grove shows a lot of promise.”

As well as Richardson, co-captain Kobe Annand and Jake Hargreaves, who finished with three goals, also impressed.

Noah Young was a constant presence up forward for Barwon Heads, which had won through to the grand final from the elimination final, kicking five goals.

Charlie Hurts and Louis Polwarth also battled hard for the Seagulls.

Twitter: @tom_king79
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OCEAN GROVE  5.1, 8.1, 11.4, 14.5 (89)

BARWON HEADS  3.0, 5.1, 7.2, 10.2 (62)

Goals; Ocean Grove:  T. Richardson 4, J. Hargreaves 3, J. Nagle 2, M. Clark 2, L. Gibb, T. Bryan, J. Lange

Barwon Heads: N. Young 5, L. Polwarth 3, D. Booth, F. Pianta-Cook, M. Witherden

Best; Ocean Grove: T. Richardson, K. Annand, J. Hargreaves, C. Pickett, T. Bryan, J. Nagle

Barwon Heads: C. Hurst, L. Polwarth, N. Young, D. Booth, M. Witherden, P. Richards