Geelong Amateur vs. Barwon Heads @ Queen’s Park, Saturday 2.10pm
THE clash between last year’s runner-up and the only remaining unbeaten team in the BFL claims Match of the Day honours. Geelong Amateur got some small revenge for last year’s grand final loss to Torquay with a 31-point win, while Barwon Heads improved to 3-0 in making it eight consecutive wins over Ocean Grove in the Battle of the Bridge. However, the victory came at a cost, with Dylan Holland (broken jaw) and Tim Wight (ankle) facing time on the sidelines. Team of the Year big man Tyson MacIlwain should return after being unavailable for the clash with the Grubbers. Ballarat league recruit Mitch Phelps continued his fine start to his time at Howard Harmer Oval, with four goals taking his tally for 2018 to 18. Star Ammos forward Mitch Day will be missing after accepting a one-week suspension for striking Tiger ruckman Jake
Last meeting: Qualifying Final, 2017: Geelong Amateur 11.17 (83) def. Barwon Heads 10.11 (71) @ Portarlington Recreation Reserve
Prediction: Geelong Amateur by 12 points
Queenscliff vs. Modewarre @ Queenscliff Recreation Reserve, Saturday 2.10pm
A BATTLE of two teams we are still trying to get a handle of where they sit in the pecking order. Queenscliff is coming off consecutive wins, but they were made to work hard for their 15-point victory over Portarlington. After using an 8.7 to 2.1 third quarter to turn a five-point half-time lead into a 47-point advantage at the final change, the Coutas conceded five majors in the final quarter. Modewarre, who will welcome back co-coach John Meesen from a two-week suspension, couldn’t go the distance with Anglesea last week. With the a majority of the top five playing opponents in the bottom half of the ladder this weekend, a loss for the Warriors and other results going against them, could see last year’s semi-finalists two games behind fifth just four rounds into the season.
Last meeting: Round 10, 2017: Modewarre 12.13 (85) def. Queenscliff 12.8 (80) @ Community Bank Oval
Prediction: Modewarre by 19 points
Torquay vs. Anglesea @ Spring Creek Reserve, Saturday 2.10pm
THE battle of the Great Ocean Road takes on extra importance for Torquay, which finds itself with a 1-2 record heading into the clash with the much-improved Anglesea. The Tigers are in the midst of a tough start to the season, with trips to Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads to follow the meeting with the Roos. They will be hoping to regain coach Dom Gleeson, star forward Paul McMahon and midfielder Zac Hopper. After a narrow loss to Geelong Amateur in Round 1, Anglesea has seen off Drysdale and Modewarre. The forward combination of Dale Carson and Jordan Erskine has 22 goals between it, with Carson playing the lead role with 13. Tiger duo Billy Barnes and Josh Gray are likely to be tasked with limiting the influence of the star Roo pair.
Last meeting: Round 14, 2017: Torquay 17.18 (120) def. Anglesea 8.6 (54) @ Alcoa Oval
Prediction: Anglesea by 7 points
Ocean Grove vs. Newcomb @ Ray Menzies Oval, Saturday 5.10pm
ON a high following its first win over Drysdale in nearly 11 years, Newcomb will be hoping to bring the same effort against Ocean Grove on Saturday night. Co-captain Kane Parish again showed his leadership qualities at crucial times against the Hawks, while Andrew Mead-Harding made it consecutive three-goal hauls as a target up forward. The Grubbers will be keen to bounce back quickly after falling to ladder leader Barwon Heads. Despite kicking eight goals, Ocean Grove had just two goal kickers, with Jake Carmody slamming home six majors and Jahd Anderson two. The Grubbers haven’t lost to the Power since the 2007 grand final, but as Newcomb proved last week, history can quickly go out the window.
Last meeting: Round 10, 2017: Ocean Grove 22.19 (151) def. Newcomb 10.11 (71) @ Newcomb Sand & Soil Oval
Prediction: Ocean Grove by 42 points
Drysdale vs. Portarlington @ Mortimer Oval, Wednesday, April 25, 2.10pm
LICKING their wounds after falling to Newcomb for the first time since the 2007 second semi-final, Drysdale will have to wait until next Wednesday and the traditional Anzac Day clash with Portarlington to put that loss behind them. The Hawks will hope to regain big man Damien Hoare and key position player Matt Hebbard. However, skipper Daniel Jull may be grateful for the 11-day break after suffering a head knock. The Demons showed some good signs before being beaten by Queenscliff by 15 points. Brock Williamson was outstanding in kicking three goals, while veteran big man Kym Jones also impressed. Portarlington will be hoping to get back star recruit Luke Williams after a fortnight on the sidelines with an ankle issue.
Last meeting: Round 11, 2017: Drysdale 24.18 (162) def. Portarlington 4.6 (30) @ Mortimer Oval
Prediction: Drysdale by 14 points