Anglesea (4th) vs. Modewarre (3rd) @ Alcoa Oval, Saturday 2.10pm
AN important early season clash between two teams with designs on having a say in how season 2018 unfolds. After suffering narrow losses in Round 1, Anglesea and Modewarre both bounced back with impressive performances last weekend. The Roos, on the back of five goals apiece from Dale Carson and Jordan Erskine, brought Drysdale back to earth with a 71-point win. While the Warriors made light work of Newcomb, handing out a 126-point hiding as former Anglesea star Josh Bouwman (six goals) and Josh McDonald (four) combined for 10 majors between them. How Modewarre combats both Erskine and Carson will be a key. However, they are unlikely to have the ability to send Daniel Sturzaker into defence, with his role set to be in the ruck as co-coach John Meesen serves the second and final week of a suspension. Scott Driscoll will be available after completing his two-week ban from last year’s first-semi final loss to Barwon Heads.
Last meeting: Round 13, 2017: Anglesea 12.7 (79) def. Modewarre 9.9 (63) @ Community Bank Oval
Prediction: Anglesea by 16 points
Barwon Heads (1st) vs. Ocean Grove (2nd) @ Howard Harmer Oval, Saturday 2.10pm
FOR the 104th time, Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove will meet in one of local football’s most enduring rivalries. Adding extra spice to this meeting is the positioning of the Seagulls and Grubbers, as they occupy the top two spots on the ladder. Barwon Heads has made light work of both Newcomb and Portarlington in the opening two rounds, posting a combined winning margin of 274 points. Ocean Grove had the better of the Demons in Round 1, however, it was last week’s victory over Geelong Amateur that has made the remainder of the competition stand up and take notice. The Grubbers claimed their first win over Ammos at Queen’s Park since 2007 on the back of an impressive defensive effort. The returning Jahd Anderson and recruits Luke Cartelli and Justin Carey all had an impact, with Cartelli adding two goals for good measure. Ocean Grove will have to overcome a poor recent record against the Seagulls, who have won the last seven meetings between the two teams.
Last meeting: Round 14, 2017: Barwon Heads 10.19 (79) def. Ocean Grove 7.12 (54) @ Howard Harmer Oval
Prediction: Barwon Heads by 11 points
Newcomb (9th) vs. Drysdale (7th) @ Newcomb Sand & Soil Oval, Saturday 2.10pm
NEWCOMB will be hoping celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of their 1988 premiership win over Drysdale can provide a sorely needed spark. The Power have been on the end of hidings totalling 276 points in the opening two rounds. They have been competitive in patches, but just don’t have the talent to match it with the top half of the BFL ladder. Drysdale got a reality check against Anglesea. After upsetting Queenscliff in Round 1, the Hawks were on the wrong end of a 71-point margin. With a midfield containing captain Daniel Jull and former St Mary’s star Josh Eddy, the Hawks should have too much class for Newcomb.
Last meeting: Round 17, 2017: Drysdale 21.13 (139) def. Newcomb 3.8 (26)
Prediction: Drysdale by 55 points
Portarlington (10th) vs. Queenscliff (6th) @ Ron Evans Oval, Saturday 2.10pm
WHICH Queenscliff will show up on Saturday? The team that, admittedly injury-hit, succumbed to Drysdale in Round 1 or the one that showed plenty of heart in upsetting Torquay by 35 points. Missing veteran big man Nik Orvis and captain and key defender Jake Hedley, the Coutas were outstanding in giving coach Steve Clark his first win since returning to the club. Youngster Michael Randone produced one of his best performances in his battle with Tigers man mountain Jake Reeves, while midfield duo Dan Gibbs and Regan Grimwood impressed. An undermanned Portarlington couldn’t go with Barwon Heads, but will hope to welcome back star recruit Luke Williams from an ankle injury.
Last meeting: Round 14, 2017: Queenscliff 14.14 (98) def. Portarlington 13.9 (87) @ Ron Evans Oval
Prediction: Queenscliff by 71 points
Torquay (8th) vs. Geelong Amateur (5th) @ Spring Creek Reserve, Saturday 5.10pm
LAST year’s grand finalists meet for the first time since Torquay claimed the 2017 BFL premiership. The Tigers find themselves in eighth spot after being upset by Queenscliff for the second time in three meetings with the Coutas. Geelong Amateur is also coming off a loss, having succumbed to Ocean Grove at Queen’s Park for the first time since 2007. Ammos have been notoriously slow starters in recent years, being 2-2 after the opening month of both of last two season. However, with seven clubs having legitimate claims on a top five berth in 2018, neither the Tigers of Amateur would want to fall behind the ledger, even after three rounds. All eyes will be on whether Ammos unleash former Fremantle rookie Hamish Shepheard on Saturday night. He kicked 51 goals with Subiaco in the WAFL in 2016 and 33 with Southport in the NEAFL last year. If he does play, Torquay veteran Josh Gray or Billy Barnes loom as likely match-ups.
Last meeting: Grand Final, 2017: Torquay 17.9 (110) def. Geelong Amateur 7.18 (60) @ Mortimer Oval
Prediction: Geelong Amateur by 7 points