BFL Preview – Semi Finals

Updated: September 3, 2015
Jarrod Mather is still undecided about his playing future. Picture: VICKI KING
Torquay star Jarrod Mather has been a shining light for the Tigers in 2015. Picture: VICKI KING

Torquay star Jarrod Mather has been a shining light for the Tigers in 2015. Picture: VICKI KING



Torquay (1st) vs. Geelong Amateur (2nd) @ Spring Creek Reserve, Saturday 2:10pm

A victory for Torquay will grant the Tigers an opportunity to snap a nine-year premiership drought, while a win for Geelong Amateur will give them the chance to claim consecutive premierships for the first time since joining the competition in 1995. Geelong Amateur is coming off an intense 11-point victory over Barwon Heads, while minor premier Torquay will go in fresh after having the week off. It’s hard to call either team the underdog heading into the game, with many foreseeing this match as a grand final preview. Torquay ran out 34-point winners when they met under lights at Spring Creek Reserve in Round 2. The Tigers started the better that night, leading by 16 points at half time, then rammed home their advantage with a 7.3 to 0.3 third quarter that gave them a 58-point buffer at the last change. However, Ammos handed Torquay their only loss of the home and away season when they met in Round 12. The Tigers made a quick start that day, leading by 24 points at quarter time. But, again, the third quarter again proved to be the difference, with Geelong Amateur kicking 8.2 to 2.2 to run away with a 59-point win at Queen’s Park. League leading goal kicker Mitch Day was held to a season-low one goal last week. The Tigers will need to limit the impact he has on the game in order to make their first grand final appearance since 2012. Torquay’s Sam Wormald arrived at Spring Creek Reserve this year after 109 senior games for Werribee in the VFL. The former Geelong Falcon enters this match off two consecutive best-on-ground performances. Expect his good form to continue on Saturday. Matt Deledio, Paul Burchell, Isaac Baker and Aaron Gleeson are among the inclusions for the Tigers. Geelong Amateur looks set to be without goalsneak Josh Westwood.

Prediction: Torquay by six points.



Barwon Heads (3rd) vs. Ocean Grove (4th) @ Spring Creek Reserve, Sunday 2:10pm

The Battle of the Bridge is undoubtedly one of the fiercest rivalries in the BFL, and this weekend’s game has all the hallmarks of a blockbuster. The last two years has seen Barwon Heads prevail in the first meeting and Ocean Grove win the second. The average final margin has been 22 points during that time. However, the Seagulls have claimed both clashes this year, triumphing by 17 points in Round 3 and 68 points in Round 13. The Grubbers have won their past six games since that Round 13 loss, whereas Barwon Heads have only won two of their past six games. Ocean Grove trailed by 14 points at half time against Anglesea in last week’s elimination final, but went on to kick five goals to two in the second half to claim a four-point victory. Meanwhile, Barwon Heads suffered an 11-point defeat to Geelong Amateur in a scrappy affair. The Seagulls trailed by 34 points at the last change, yet they threw everything at the Ammos, kicking 4.7 to 1.2 in the final term. Despite an impressive final quarter, Barwon Heads’ bench was crammed with injuries. Sam Evans (ankle), Pete Swinton (hamstring) and Jed Holland (calf) were all sidelined in the fourth quarter. Evans and Swinton have been named, but Holland will be sidelined. He has been replaced by Dom Friend. The Seagulls will be hoping for their return in order to bolster their prospects of winning their first flag since 1993, while Ocean Grove will look to remain in the hunt to break a 12-year premiership drought. The winner will advance through to the preliminary final, while it’s season over for the loser. Barwon Heads star Ed Mitchell held league-leading goalkicker Mitch Day to only one goal last week in an imposing performance. The solid defender will most likely get the job to shut down Dan Maloney this weekend. The Grubbers have added Andy Higgins and Rowan O’Callaghan to the side that rolled Anglesea last week.

Prediction: Barwon Heads by 18 points.

Twitter: @PaddySlack1