Barwon Heads (1st) vs. Modewarre (3rd) @ Mortimer Oval – Drysdale, Saturday 2.10pm
A LENGTHY premiership drought will be broken for one club when Barwon Heads and Modewarre clash in Saturday’s Bellarine Football League Grand Final at Drysdale’s Mortimer Oval. The Seagulls are searching for their first senior success since winning the last of their four BFL flags in 1993, while the Warriors are hoping to end 24 years in the wilderness, having not tasted the ultimate since taking out the GDFL Division 2 title in 1994, two years before entering the Bellarine.
Barwon Heads will enter the contest as warm favourites after handing Modewarre a 63-point hiding in the second semi-final. On that occasion, the Seagulls jumped out of the blocks to take a 24-point lead at quarter time and were never seriously threatened. Mitch Herbison was outstanding with six goals and is likely to again spend most of grand final day roaming inside forward 50. Even if Modewarre can contain the Seagulls’ co-coach, they also need to limit the influence of league-leading goal kicker Mitch Phelps and fellow Ballarat recruit Damien Horbury, who also impressed in the second semi.
After having just four individual goal kickers in the loss to Barwon Heads, Modewarre found more avenues to goal in the preliminary final, where it was able to see off Anglesea by 38 points. Ten Warriors hit the scoreboard, with Jesse Douglas, Cody Grant, Josh McDonald, Mitch Fisher and Jackson O’Hanlon managing two goals apiece. If Modewarre is to kick a big enough score to challenge the Seagulls, it will start in the midfield with co-coaches John Meesen and Josh Finch. Meesen’s ruck battle with Tyson MacIlwain will have a significant impact on the final result.
Modewarre will also feature in the BFL Reserves Grand Final. The Warriors will be chasing just their second BFL seconds title – and first since 2011. They clash with perennial reserves powerhouse Torquay, which is making its eighth consecutive appearance in the grand final. Modewarre defeated the Tigers by two points in a thrilling second semi-final, and this clash should be no different.
The day will start with the AFL Barwon under-19 Division 2 Grand Final between Ocean Grove and Geelong Amateur. The Grubbers finished the home-and-away season in second spot on the ladder and have beaten Geelong West and Bell Park to get to the decider. Ammos will be looking to make it four consecutive finals wins after coming from fifth spot to reach the grand final.
Round 10: Barwon Heads 15.9 (99) def. Modewarre 13.8 (86) @ Howard Harmer Oval
Round 17: Modewarre 16.9 (105) def. Barwon Heads 9.2 (56) @ Community Bank Oval
2nd Semi-Final: Barwon Heads 18.4 (112) def. Modewarre 7.7 (49) @ Portarlington Recreation Reserve
Prediction: Barwon Heads by 17 points