BARWON Heads co-coaches Mitch Herbison and Troy Mitchell will continue in the role in 2020 as the club looks to build on its first premiership since 1993.
The Seagulls were able to outlast Torquay by 14 points, 13.7 (85) to 10.11 (71), to put the disappointment of their loss to Modewarre in 2018 behind it in Saturday’s BFL decider at McCartney Oval.
“We want to keep building on the things we’ve been working on and keep the group together, and make sure it’s not just a one-off thing,” Herbison said. “We want to sustain this success, for sure.”
Barwon Heads was the first team to settle and took a handy 25-point lead into quarter time. The Tigers hit back to level the scores, with Jack Heathcote and Callum Currie both dangerous inside forward 50.
However, it was Barwon Heads’ response that would prove to be the game-changer. Braeden Eddy, Mitch Phelps and big man Brock Close all kicking goals in time-on to push the margin back to 17 points.
Young gun Zac Walter, whose dad Matt featured in the 1993 grand final win over Ocean Grove, was named best-on-ground “He talks about how good it was when he won it, and all the stories about when he played,” the 20-year-old said. “It makes it a bit more special, for sure. I spoke to him just before .and he’s rapt. You speak to him, and he tells it how it’s been since when it was good and what they’ve gone through to finally get some success.”
For Torquay, coach Dom Gleeson’s disappointment in the moments following the final siren quickly turned to pride. “You only have to look back 12 months ago to when we didn’t finish in the finals, and it was an embarrassment really,” he said. “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.”
Gleeson was left to rue consecutive Barwon Heads goals at the start of the last quarter with his team kicking with the breeze. “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.”
Meanwhile, following consecutive grand final losses, Modewarre claimed its second reserve grade premiership with a narrow four-point win over Torquay, 6.13 (49) to 7.3 (45). Warriors Jordan Harris was named best-on-ground.
Ocean Grove capped an excellent season at under-19 level with a 27-point win in the AFL Barwon Division 2 decider, 14.5 (89) to 10.2 (62). Power forward Tom Richardson received the best-on-ground medal after kicking four goals.