Five games, five things we learned from round 7 of the Bellarine Football League season
1) Primed to Peak (part 1)
The naysayers were out in force early in the season, when triple-reigning Premier Geelong Amateur were 1-2 following losses to Torquay and Barwon Heads, and then were pushed all the way by a Queenscliff side not expected to be troubling the challengers. They thought the reign was over, the dominance of the Ammos a thing of the past. Oh how they were wrong. This great side is seemingly priming themselves for the pointy end of the season, having got their season back on track following wins against Queenscliff, Newcomb, Drysdale and Anglesea. The Ammos have continued to strengthen their side as more become available, and now loom as the sleeping giant of the competition. They enjoy this weekend off, and we will have to wait to see how they stack up against Torquay after the league bye on round 8. Lots has changed since the round one defeat to Torquay by 14 points. Look outcome finals time.
2) Primed to peak (part 2)
Another side looming as one who’s ready to pounce is Modewarre. Last year’s grand finalists have been methodically going about their work, having only dropped the two games for the season against the two top sides, and now sit with five wins and fourth on the ladder, only percentage behind Geelong Amateur. The Warriors also got within striking distance of Torquay a few rounds ago so will take a lot of confidence in from that too. Chris Mamalis snared another four goals on the weekend, moving his tally along to 15 for the season. Any side featuring him up forward and Josh Finch in their side will pose many challenges.
3) Blunt cutting edge
While small steps were expected for Jesse Smith’s Portarlington this season, there are still a few issues that need to be rectified. While the effort over the past four or five weeks cannot be questioned, this hasn’t translated into scoring power. The Demons, who have no finals appearances since 1994, only managed three goals on the weekend, which made it the fourth time this season they’ve scored six goals or less in a game. They kicked a solitary goal in round one against Ocean Grove, two the following week against Modewarre, six against Torquay and then the weekend’s effort against Barwon Heads. Dylan Weir (10 goals) and Steve Hicks (8 goals) are providing lone hands up forward, and need help fast.
4) Will the real Ocean Grove please stand up?
Much like their GFL counterparts Grovedale, Ocean Grove are suffering from inconsistent form truncating their 2017 season. The one saving grace for the Grubbers is that unlike the Tigers, they haven’t lost more than two on the trot, but haven’t had more than two consecutive wins either. Much was made of their big recruiting off season and the arrival of a GFL Premiership coach in Paul Lynch, but that is all a well known fact now, and really we don’t know any more about the Grubbers after round seven than we did before round 1. They sit clear in fifth amongst the challengers, and have beaten Portarlington, Newcomb, Drysdale and Queenscliff- all sides below them on the ladder. Their lack of scoring in their losses- a combined eleven goals over three games to Torquay, Barwon Heads and Geelong Amatuer will concern Lynch. We will learn more following fixtures against Modewarre, Ammos, Anglesea and Torquay in four out of their next five weeks.
5) A good week if you’re a tipster
While the AFL continues to serve up weird and wonderful results this season, round seven of the BFL was an easier task if you were in any tipping competitions. The top five sides were scheduled to meet the bottom five, and all went according to ladder position, with now a game and a half separating the final five and the rest. The lowest winning margin was 35 points in the latest round (Ocean Grove’s win over Queenscliff), but round 8 will present bigger challenges for teams and tipsters alike. A bumper clash awaits as Modewarre host Ocean Grove, Drysdale play Newcomb in a curve ball for the Hawks, and Queenscliff and Portarlington are both striving for a vital victory.
*NB- The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of AFL Barwon or its clubs