K rock Football

Warriors end hoodoo to claim double-chance

Josh McDonald (right) celebrates one of his seven goals with teammate Luke Forbes in Modewarre’s 30-point win over Geelong Amateur at Community Bank Oval. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

A JOSH McDonald-inspired Modewarre has claimed the double-chance for the first time in 17 years after a 30-point win over Geelong Amateur at Community Bank Oval.

The talented small forward kicked seven of the Warriors’ ten goals as they snapped a 12-game losing streak against Ammos, and follows a five-goal haul in last week’s win over premiership favourites Barwon Heads.

“He just pops up at the right time. He’s so strong overhead for his size, and he’s so good at ground level as well,” co-coach Josh Meesen said.

“He’s a real asset for us, and it probably took us half the season to figure out what our best forward line mix was.

“We feel like we’re pretty comfortable with where things are at at the moment.

“Ideally, we’ve got a lot of goal kicking options, but on the weekend it was just (Tom) Worpel (three goals) and McDonald.

“But McDonald’s last month has been really, really strong.”

While McDonald was making the most of his opportunities up forward, at the other end of the ground Morgan Fenton and Daniel Sturzaker were leading a tight defensive unit that held star Amateur pair Matt Walsh and Mitch Day to two goals apiece.

“We felt like we got our match-ups right; Morgan Fenton took Walsh, and Sturzaker took Day,” Meesen said.

“We’ve got a real strong team defence approach and we never like to go one-on-one. We always try to replace and cover and help out each other back there.

“I think our defence has been our strongest line all year.”

The return of Sturzaker in the past month from a finger injury that sidelined him for seven games has coincided with Modewarre’s run towards a top-three finish.

“The last two weeks, he’s been important with his leadership, his attack on the ball,” Meesen said.

“I don’t think there are too many key forwards that enjoy when they see ‘Sturzy’ come out to them.

“He’s a really strong competitor and really important member of our backline.”

Nathan Ablett missed the win after being a late withdrawal with leg tightness, with Meesen crossing his fingers the big man will be right to take on Anglesea in Saturday’s qualifying final.

“He just pulled up a little bit tight from last week,” Meesen said.

“I think if it were a grand final he would have played, but we just thought we could cover him.

“He found it hard to get going on Thursday night.

“We gave him every chance, then he said: “I don’t know if I’d be at 100 per cent”, so we just decided not to risk it.

Meesen confirmed former Melbourne and Richmond forward Ricky Petterd won’t be available to play against the Roos due to coaching commitments with VFL club Box Hill, while Josh Bouwman remains sidelined with an ankle issue.

“We haven’t really put a timeframe on it,” he said.

“He’s training OK, but he just feels like his ankle is not at 100 per cent, so we’re leaving it up to him to make a call.

“When he puts his hand up, we’ll assess it and see how it fits.

Twitter: @tom_king79

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