A STANDOUT performance in the ruck from co-coach John Meesen helped catapult Modewarre to its first BFL premiership.
The Warriors, who went into the clash as rank underdogs after being on the end of a 63-point hiding from Barwon Heads in the second semi-final, were too polished when it counted for the Seagulls in claiming the 14.9 (93) to 5.16 (46) victory at Drysdale’s Mortimer Oval.
“They’re a really good, young, fast-starting side,” Modewarre co-coach Josh Finch said of Barwon Heads.
“So we looked at the tape. We played them three times for the year before today. They jumped us by five goals down there in Round 10.
“In Round 17 at home we jumped them, and in the semi-final they kicked six goals to two in the first quarter.
“So when they get up and running, they naturally have a lot of confidence. We put that on the boys in the semi and they didn’t deliver, today we had a fast start. We had immense pressure for 120 minutes and that’s what got us the win.”
Finch was full of praise for Meesen’s performance, which earned the former Melbourne and Adelaide big man the AFL Victoria Medal as best-on-ground.
“He was inspiring,” he said.
“The thing that people soon forget, he came back to the club in 2012, and he was coming off an AFL list after his elite career was ended and he was hanging on by one leg,” Finch said.
“People were pretty quick to critique him, and he came back into a better standard of footy, dominated the Eastern Football League and returned to Modda to give us silver service. For years and years, we’ve struggled (in the ruck).
“In 2016 we were up against Peter Street. We had Kieran Pearce who was six foot and competed, but you’ve got someone who comes from an elite standard, played a mountain of footy and a great standard of footy, he was a fantastic addition to the group.”
For Barwon Heads, which was chasing its first premiership in 25 years, it was a disappointing end to a dominant season.
“It’s pretty disappointing to have a great year up until this point, and it’s a pretty hard thing to take,” co-coach Mitch Herbison said.
“To Modda’s credit, they were too good on the day when it counted. We’ve got to wear it.”
TORQUAY claimed its fourth reserve grade title in five years with a thrilling one-point win over Modewarre, 10.5 (65) to 10.4 (64).
Scores were tied late in the high-quality contest when Tigers captain Alan Bladen received a free kick under the last possession rule only introduced to the reserves competition this year.
His shot at goal from 40 metres out hit the post but was enough for Torquay to get past the Warriors, also reversing the result of the second semi-final. Tiger Curtis Dawson won the best-on-ground medal, while Cameron Sharp starred with four goals.
“I guess we can reflect on it now and say it was good for our football the continuity to keep playing,” coach Stuart Hill said.
GEELONG Amateur’s stunning run through the AFL Barwon under-19 Division 2 finals culminated in an 11-point grand final win over Ocean Grove, 12.5 (77) to 10.6 (66).
Ammos finished the home-and-away season in fifth spot, but aided by the return of players from school commitments were able to get past Barwon Heads, Bell Park and minor premier Geelong West to book a spot in the decider.
“It was the first time we were able to have a full side for an extended period,” co-coach Angus Kramer said.
“Early on, they would come in now and then. But to have them for a five-week period and get a bit of consistency was a key.”
Grubber Lachie Slater won the medal for best-on-ground.