Duke propels Power to first win

Newcomb would dearly love Charlie Harvey back in the side from injury.

By Justin Flynn

Newcomb consigned Ocean Grove to bottom rung on the Bellarine Football League ladder with a 16-point win at Grinter Reserve to notch its first win of the season on Saturday May 18.

In an entertaining game that wasn’t indicative of 9th vs 10th on the ladder, the Power withstood several Ocean Grove challenges to win 14.12(96) to 11.13(79).

Ocean Grove had no match for power forward Jack Duke, who bagged seven goals and missed several others in a best afield display. Duke has 27 goals so far this season and is equal top of the table with Geelong Amateur’s Patrick Dowling.

“I was a forward in my career and I said to him after the game ‘well done kicking seven, but I know right now you’re thinking geez, I could have had a bag today’,” Newcomb coach Tony Mirabella said.

“He kicked 7.5 and then a few that didn’t register. So he had fourteen shots. He’s so dangerous at the moment. He’s really tough to match up on, because if you put a small on him, he’s too crafty and strong and if you put a big on him, he’s too quick.”

Ocean Grove had Ed Dayman, Kye Annand and Nick Bourke who were providing their own threats in attack.

“Ocean Grove have got some absolute weapons down there,” Mirabella said.

“If they can keep Ed Dayman and Kye Annand there for a few years and even Max Sutton, and build a team around them.”

Mirabella said he was pleased with the way his side responded to each Ocean Grove challenge

“I think Faz (Ocean Grove coach Dave Farrell) was pretty smart about it – he knew that we’d press up the ground so as soon as they had any possession in the middle, he had them kicking without any hesitation and catching us out the back a couple of times,” he said.

“They caught us out probably on three occasions. But when the boys got back and defended one on one and as a team, they were super impressive. They just have an ability to smash the contest, keep their feet and then just rebound really well.”

Newcomb may be 9th on the ladder with one win, but that doesn’t even go close to telling the full story of its season.

Half-back Tom Webster, Charlie Harvey (third in the best and fairest last year), lockdown defender Nathan Andrews and early season surprise packet Tom Courtney are all out injured.

The Power have pushed unbeaten Torquay (11 points) and 2023 runners-up Drysdale (eight points) all the way.

“The good thing about this group of players, as much as we didn’t have a couple of favourable results before Ocean Grove, is that there is no game these guys are going into where they don’t think they can win,” Mirabella said.

“Every single game they are walking in with a winning headspace.”

ANGLESEA had to come from behind early to defeat Portarlington by nine points. Ash Caldwell was best for the Roos while former Richmond player Connor Menadue returned from injury to boot six goals for Port.

A FIVE-goal to one final term gave Geelong Amateur a 23-point win against Drysdale. Tom Gribble was best afield and Patrick Dowling kicked five goals for Ammos, who were three points down at three-quarter time.

TWIN towers Brock Close and Mitch Herbison each kicked four goals as Barwon Heads overpowered Modewarre by six goals. Close was returning from a lengthy injury layoff while Archie Hilderbrandt kicked three and gun defender Kyle Polley was best. Connor Joseph bagged four goals for Modda.

TORQUAY was once again challenged and once again prevailed. The Tigers defeated a gutsy Queenscliff by 23 points with Nathan Mifsud best on ground.