Tigers maintain hold on Hawks

March 31, 2024 8:40 am in by
Torquay coach Dom Gleeson. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

New year. Same Torquay.

The reigning premier has started the chase for consecutive BFNL premierships with an impressive 53-point win over Drysdale at McCartney Oval, 18.16 (124) to 11.5 (71).

After conceding the first two goals of the contest, the Tigers, sparked by an impressive midfield display from Matt Boag in his first game for the club in a decade, took the lead midway through the opening quarter and never looked back.

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Accuracy in front of goal kept the Hawks within 25 points at the final change after Torquay pushed the margin out to 41 points during the third quarter.

However, the Tigers finished the stronger, slamming on five goals to one in the last term.

“I’m really pleased with how they came out,” coach Dom Gleeson told

“We had a fairly taxing off-season. (When) you win a premiership, you wonder how hard you can go.

“We went pretty hard, and we played three, who we think are highly-rated GFL sides, and we probably got touched up a little bit.

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“It wasn’t an absolute bloodbath, but certainly, you can tell the level difference between the two (leagues).

“I don’t know how much you can take out of it; I was certainly worried about their egos getting a bit of a touch-up through those three practice matches.

“(I’m) really pleased they got their mojo back today.”

Drysdale’s bright start was courtesy of some impressive work by veteran forward Tom Ruggles, who kicked three first-quarter goals.

However, the former co-coach could not find another as experienced Torquay defender Michael Croxford entered lockdown mode.

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Despite the loss, Hawks coach Ben Carmichael remained upbeat.

“We felt that Torquay probably controlled the game more than us today, and we couldn’t really get our footy going for four quarters,” he said.

“But, we did work our way into a position where we think we could challenge … we wanted to take the game as long as we could and see if we could steal it.

“But, they were too dominant for us today.”

After conceding two goals to Lucas Anderson in the first quarter, Drysdale defender Tim Delaney arguably had the better of the reigning league-leading goalkicker, conceding just one more major for the contest.

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He was named among the Hawks’ best, along with ruck Matt Pigott, fellow defender Jack Jenkins and winger Bailey Sykes.

Livewire forward Tom Diamond kicked three goals to join Boag and midfielder Sheldon Ham as Torquay’s most influential players.

Drysdale faces 2023 preliminary finalist Barwon Heads in another tough matchup in Round 2.

Carmichael expects Flinn Chisholm (illness) to be right to take on the Seagulls, with Cam Delaney (glute) labelled “50-50”.

Torquay, which fielded 17 of its premiership 22 against the Hawks, makes the trip to Grinter Reserve for a meeting with Newcomb.

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Jesse Dawson will be available after being away, while Charlie Ham (knee) and Oscar Lewis (hamstring) will be monitored after both were late withdrawals.


Meanwhile, Anglesea used an eight-goal to two second quarter to set up a 36-point win over Barwon Heads at Howard Harmer Oval.

Trailing by eight points at quarter time, the Roos quickly snatched the lead thanks to goals from captain James Carr and Jardo Bacon before the pushing margin to 31 points at the main break.

The Seagulls cut the margin to 23 points at three-quarter time before the visitors bounded away for a 17.15 (117) to 12.9 (81) victory.

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Youngster Will Batson was named Anglesea’s best, along with Jack Baker and former Seagull Noah McGregor-Dawson.

Co-captain Kyle Polley, Michael Philp and Sammy Baker (four goals) battled hard for Barwon Heads.

X: @krockfootball