Form teams to clash in first week of finals
Qualifying Final: Barwon Heads (2nd) vs. Torquay (3rd) @ Portarlington Recreation Reserve – Saturday, 2:10pm
BARWON Heads and Torquay will enter Saturday’s qualifying final impressive form. The Seagulls were too strong for minor premier Geelong Amateur to the tune of 41 points in their final round clash at KFC Oval, giving them eight wins and a two-point loss to Anglesea in Round 16 in the second half of the season. After three consecutive losses between rounds 11-13, the Tigers have strung together five-straight wins, including by 60 points against Newcomb in Round 18. Torquay won the most recent meeting with Barwon Heads in Round 9, overcoming a two-point deficit at half time to claim a 24-point victory. However, Tigers coach Dom Gleeson says that result won’t be a factor come Saturday. “I think there have been eight or nine changes to the Barwon Heads side since we played them, and we’d be very similar,” Gleeson said. Gleeson, who missed the wins over the Power and Portarlington to round out the season, and captain Ben Raidme after set to return to take on the Seagulls. 2017 grand final hero Billy Henderson is also in the mix after spending a fortnight in the reserves on his return from injury. Barwon Heads co-coach Mitch Herbison will be hoping his team can overcome Torquay to get another crack at Ammos in the second semi-final. “To finish top-three is a goal that you set at the start of the year, and we’re lucky enough to have done that,” Herbison said. Now the real stuff starts and all we’ve done is give ourselves an opportunity. We’ve got to get to work and make the most of that chance.” Herbison will be hoping Sam Evans and Dylan Holland are right to go after injury layoffs. However, Wayne Barrett (hamstring) will miss at least a fortnight.
Round 2: Barwon Heads 12.17 (89) def. Torquay 9.9 (63) @ Howard Harmer Oval
Round 9: Torquay 14.19 (103) def. Barwon Heads 11.13 (79) @ McCartney Oval
Prediction: Barwon Heads by 17 points
Elimination Final: Modewarre (4th) vs. Anglesea (5th) @ Portarlington Recreation Reserve – Sunday, 2:10pm
AFTER missing the chance to claim its first minor premiership in 20 years, Anglesea will have to start its finals campaign from an elimination final against Modewarre. The Roos seven-point loss to Drysdale on an emotional day at Mortimer Oval saw Paul Nigro’s men drop from second to fifth on the ladder. While Anglesea was battling hard against the Hawks, the Warriors were making light work of Portarlington. Tom Worpel, who was dropped three weeks ago after 96 consecutive senior games, slammed home 10 goals in a 140-point hiding of the Demons. “We spoke about some things we’d like to see Tom do out on the ground, and we probably didn’t see that for a 4-6-week period,” co-coach Seamus Orr. “So, he went back and worked on that area of his game.” Orr has aborted a planned comeback from a fractured wrist after just one reserves game and won’t play again in 2019. Co-coach John Meesen is racing the clock to overcome a finger tendon injury that required surgery late last month. Stopping Jordan Erskine will be a key for the Warriors, with young defender Morgan Fenton likely to get first crack at the Roos spearhead. Erskine, who sits on 94 goals for the season, has kicked five goals in each of his three previous meetings with Modewarre, including last year’s preliminary final loss to the Warriors.
Round 2: Modewarre 14.16 (100) def. Anglesea 13.8 (86) @ Community Bank Oval
Round 9: Anglesea 11.16 (82) def. Modewarre 11.13 (79) @ Alcoa Oval
Prediction: Anglesea by 11 points