Round one clash kicks off a friendly rivalry

April 8, 2021 BY

Ocean Grove Primary School teachers and opposing players Damien Horbury, left, and Mat Hebbard, right, during the season opener.

REIGNING premiership side and home ground favourites Barwon Heads thrashed Drysdale in the season opener on Saturday.

The Seagulls won the BFL grand final in 2019 after a 26-year premiership void.

The 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19 and after a year on the bench it was like no time at all had passed for the champions.

The Seagulls secured a six-goal, 20-point lead by the end of the first quarter (3.1-19 to 6.3-39) which they maintained until half time (6.2-38 to 9.5-59).

By the end of the third quarter the Seagulls had soared ahead leaving the Hawks in a flap with an overwhelming and unbeatable lead 7.6-48 to 16.10-106, which they capitalised on to win 10.9-69 to 19.13-127.

Barwon Heads’ Brad Harvey kicked four goals, Mitch Herbison three, Braden Eddy and Mitch Phelps both kicked two.

While there was plenty of action on the field, reporters from this newspaper were tipped off that the real story was unfolding off the field and in the schoolyard in the week leading up to the match.

Seagulls centre half-forward Damien Horbury (No. 2) and the Hawks centre half-forward Mat Hebbard (No. 18) are usually both highly respected teachers at Ocean Grove Primary School but rumour had it the situation was getting a little tense on school grounds.

The Times News Group contacted the school administration who summoned both teachers into the office to explain what was going on.

Horbury, who is in his fourth year at Barwon Heads, said things were getting a little bit chilly off the field in the lead-up to the game.

“When I see Mat it gets a bit frosty,” Horbury said.

Horbury said they haven’t had to schedule their yard duty at different times yet, but after the weekend’s game that could change.

Hebbard said it was a school divided.

“There’s a couple of teachers that live down Drysdale way and couple that live in Barwon Heads so the school is split,” he said.

“There is a good little rivalry going on, Damo has got the Year Threes, and I’ve got the Year Twos, so I’ve got my students up and about going for Drysdale and he’s got his going for Barwon Heads.”

After the weekend’s thumping it might be a tough week at school for Hebbard and the Year Two students but perhaps it’s also an opportunity to do some homework in preparation for his match against Queenscliff on the weekend.

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