Preliminary Final: Geelong Amateur (1st) vs. Torquay (3rd) @ McCartney Oval, Spring Creek Reserve – Saturday, 2.10pm
GEELONG Amateur and Torquay will battle it out for the remaining spot in the BFL Grand Final when the arch-rivals clash in Saturday’s preliminary final at McCartney Oval.
The two teams will take contrasting form into the clash. Ammos are coming off an 89-point hiding at the hands of Barwon Heads in the second semi-final, while the Tigers were too good for Anglesea in claiming a 43-point first semi-final victory.
Coach Kane Tenace says a combination of factors were behind Amateur’s worst performance of the season.
“We had our fair share of the ball in the first half, and we weren’t able to make the most of it when we had it,” Tenace said.
“Having said that, they were the better team all day. They got on top of us midway through the third quarter, and we weren’t able to stop them, and it just kept going from there.”
The first-year coach says trying to review the loss to the Seagulls would be “pointless”.
“We’ve got to pick ourselves back up and do everything we can to get ourselves right for Torquay.” Despite the margin, Tenace is unlikely to make wholesale changes to his team.
Matt Synoradzki, who played 13 games during the home-and-away season, may be considered for a return. Tenace may roll the dice on the talented Brody Phillips despite him not playing a senior game since Round 8 due to injury.
“It’s something we’ll definitely think about,” Tenace said. “He was comfortably in our best side before he got injured. He probably hasn’t played as much footy as we would have liked, but he’s definitely an option, yes.”
Having lost to Barwon Heads in the qualifying final, Torquay kept alive its hopes of a second premiership in three years with a strong defensive performance in which it limited the Roos to their lowest score of the season.
“When you go into a game and you see the personnel they’ve got – whether or not (Dale) Carson and (Jordan) Erskine play in the forward half – you’ve got to select players around that, because they did that late and they looked really scary, but it was a little bit too late,” Gleeson said.
“I thought our backs did really well. I could name individuals, but all seven that were rotating through there did really well.”
Gleeson was interested onlooker at the second semi-final, with the last meeting between the Tigers and Ammos back in Round 11.
“I don’t think I saw the best of them, that’s for sure,” Gleeson said.
“They’ve got really tough inside midfielders, and then when they get it on the outside, they’re just as good as anyone – they use the ball really well.
“It was quite a good game up until half-way through the second quarter, and I just felt Barwon Heads was going to be superior on the day.
“You’ve always got to worry about a wounded side, and that’s what we’re going to get next week.”
Like Ammos, Torquay also has to decide whether it brings back 2017 grand final star Billy Henderson after two goals in the reserves last week.
“Whether he’s done enough (for a senior call-up), I’m not too sure,” Gleeson said.
“It’s hard to drop people out of the side that just won so convincingly in the semi.”
Round 1: Torquay 20.11 (131) def. Geelong Amateur 9.14 (68) @ McCartney Oval, Spring Creek Reserve
Round 11: Geelong Amateur 10.12 (72) def. Torquay 6.10 (46) @ KFC Oval, Queens Park
Prediction: Torquay by 15 points