FOUR valuable second half goals from Ocean Grove playing assistant coach Mark Laidler proved a masterstroke in his side’s 10-point win against Anglesea at Alcoa Oval on Saturday.
Down by 14 points at half-time after Anglesea’s dominant second term where the home side kicked six goals to Ocean Grove’s one, Laidler, an accomplished key defender, moved into attack to trigger a Grubber revival.
“We lacked a focal point (up forward) and that it is why we put Laidler down there and I thought he made a big impact in the second half,” Ocean Grove coach Shane Jack said after the match.
Laidler said the ‘spontaneous’ positional move occurred in the absence of Grubber trio Shane Jack, Daniel Maloney, both injured, and former AFL star Max Rooke, who all have been used as key targets in 2014.
The last time Laidler, 30, kicked four goals in a senior BFL match was against Torquay in round seven at Ocean Grove in 2009.
“It was a little bit circumstantial going forward,” Laidler told the Voice.
“I hurt my back a bit and I wasn’t moving as well as what I would normally, so the team were able to play me in more of a stationary role, so I could move up forward and lead out.”
“It certainly wasn’t a pre-determined move, it was just probably dealing with the game at the time.
“Hopefully that is what we are trying to work towards by having players that can play different roles at different times, so we don’t become too predictable.”
MEANWHILE the win from Ocean Grove, which has a 7-2 record in 2014, pushed it back into second place on the BFL ladder after Torquay downed Drysdale by 68 points on Saturday.
Ocean Grove coach Shane Jack was proud of how his players gritted out the win after Anglesea took control of the game in the second term and overturned an 18-point deficit at the first break.
“We started really well, so that was really positive in the first quarter, and I said to the boys it was a 32-point turnaround (in the second quarter) and that should not happen to us or any footy side,” Jack said.
“It was a bit of a reflection on the boys not working hard enough for each other.
“But I thought our players really dug deep in the second half.”
For Anglesea, Josh Bouwman was a clear standout in the second quarter and displayed great goal nous and kicked three majors, while Brett Cunningham booted three goals.
Utility Sam Leeds also had a positive impact for the home side and booted two goals.
On the flipside, Ocean Grove dashing defender Sam Fairway had a game to savour and provided great run out of the backline with his high-risk run and carry game style.
“He (Fairway) has been terrific for a while now,” Jack said.
“He has taken on a real leadership role – he was fantastic.”
The tight tussle dried up scoring-wise in a thrilling fourth quarter climax where Ocean Grove kicked 2.6 compared to Anglesea’s five behinds.
Jack said it was pleasing to chalk up a win on the away surrounds of Alcoa Oval at the half-way point of the BFL season.
“It is good to get a hard fought win and we are 7-2 at the halfway mark and I know I could not have asked for anything better than that,” he said.
Ocean Grove’s next assignment is against bottom-placed team Newcomb at home this Saturday at 2.10pm.