Ammos atop the table as mid-season bye arrives
FIRST-year Geelong Amateur Kane Tenace isn’t getting carried away with his team’s impressive 2019 season that has it sitting on top of the ladder with one-third of the season remaining.
After being outclassed in its opening round clash with Torquay, Ammos have won nine and drawn one of its 11 matches, with the only loss coming by 13 points to fellow premiership contender Drysdale in Round 10.
However, the former Geelong Cats speedster is well aware that Ammos still have plenty of work to do in the final six rounds just to lock away a seventh consecutive finals berth.
“It’s always nice to be on top of the ladder, no matter what time of the year it is,” Tenace said.
“We’ve given ourselves a chance, but between us and Modewarre in sixth (place) there’s only a game-and- a-half.
“It’s by no means a foregone conclusion that we’ll even play finals at this stage.
“But we’ve put ourselves in the best position we possibly could, so it’s all in our hands for the last six weeks of the year.”
Geelong Amateur will start red-hot favourite in its meetings with Ocean Grove and Queenscliff following this weekend’s bye, before a challenging final month of the home-and-away season where it travels to Anglesea and Modewarre before returning home to take on Drysdale and Barwon Heads.
The Hawks are the only team to have beaten Ammos since Round 1.
Boosted by an influx of high-quality recruits like Jarrod Garth, Chris Lynch, Lauchie Dalgleish and Jesse Lothian, and the return of star duo Mitch McGuire and Ben Carmichael, they are riding a seven-game winning streak.
It’s their best since winning run since stringing together ten consecutive victories from Round 7-16 in their most recent premiership in 2010.
However, it has been done at times without a number of those additions, including Dalgleish, who played three AFL games for Essendon.
The 26-year-old has been restricted to seven matches but was impressive as the Hawks put the struggling Portarlington to the sword at Mortimer Oval last week.
“He’s had a bit of a bad knee, and then he did his hamstring, so it was good to have him running around,” co-coach Daniel Jull said.
“He will only benefit from the run.”
A calf injury suffered in the Round 1 win over Queenscliff sidelined Garth for a month.
However, since his return in Round 5, he has kicked 40 goals, including 14 against Newcomb in Round 8, to take his tally to 44 for the season.
It sees the former Bell Park spearhead sit second behind another former GFL star on the BFL goal kicking table.
In his second season at Anglesea, Jordan Erskine has been crucial to the Roos occupying third spot on the ladder.
He has 74 goals from the opening 12 rounds and barring injury should become the first Anglesea player since Jim Kelly in 1987 to top the ton.
Based on his goals per game average, Erskine should reach the mark in the Round 17 clash with Newcomb.
However, with the form he’s in – 31 goals in the last four rounds – the former Grovedale star may reach 100 by the end of July.
Whether Anglesea plays finals may be determined by its run of three consecutive matches at Alcoa Oval between rounds 14 and 16 where it plays Torquay, Geelong Amateur and Barwon Heads.
The other talking point of the season so far is the improvement of Newcomb.
The Power has claimed four wins in 2019, its most in a season since winning the 2007 premiership, and were the only unbeaten team after three rounds.
They have also suffered five losses by five goals or less, including by just six points to Geelong Amateur last week.