K rock Football

Tough day for Dees

Portarlington’s Darcy Spence fights for the ball. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

PORTARLINGTON coach Pete O’Connor could find no fault with his players’ commitment despite being on the end of a 128-point hiding from Newcomb to open the BFL season at Ron Evans Oval.

The Demons, who are coming off a winless 2019 season, battled hard but were no match for a polished Power outfit.

“I won’t question our endeavour; we tried all day,” O’Connor said.

“I thought our last quarter was pretty good. I thought we defended better in the last quarter than we had all day.

“And we were a little bit better in the middle of the ground.

“There were things to be happy with.”

However, O’Connor, who was coaching his first game in the competition since guiding Barwon Heads to the 2014 finals, admits the final margin wasn’t one he had pondered pre-game.

“On paper, Newcomb looked stronger than they had been, so I knew it was going to be a tough game,” he said.

“But, I didn’t think the margin was going to be like that.

“And the fact that they kicked so well and so straight early just makes it harder to come back.

“They got their tails up, and they were playing like millionaires – quite rightly.”

Captain Will Foott and debutant Steve Walton battled hard for Portarlington, with Ben Deluca, Sean Lucas and Shane Wiffen also doing all they could to keep their team competitive.

The Demons will now dust themselves off for a Round 2 meeting with Ocean Grove, who they haven’t beaten since 1994.

Stan Hogan is expected to take on the Grubbers, while O’Connor says several players who had cricket commitments well into March are continuing to work towards a return.

“We’ve probably got five or six blokes who could come into the side and be good BFL footballers,” he said.

“There’s something to look forward to.”

Twitter: @tom_king79