Modda survives spirited Ammos
August 14, 2022 / 9:10 pm
ONLY days after the death of club legend John F. Russell, Modewarre has shown the fighting spirit of which he would have been proud after sneaking out of the elimination final by nine points at Ron Evans Oval.
In a match impacted by a stiff wind blowing to the Portarlington town end of the ground, the Warriors kicked three of the last four goals of the contest to snatch victory, 9.13 (67) to 8.10 (58), and book a first semi-final match-up with Drysdale.
Kicking with the aid of the breeze in the first quarter, Modewarre should have put the match beyond doubt but didn’t register their first goal until the 19-minute mark after scoring seven consecutive behinds to open the contest.
“We still deserved to win the game, I think, with our first-quarter dominance,” Warriors coach Chris Hickey said. “It was more so the third quarter that let us down a bit.
“Our consistency was something was a real focus before the game.
“I thought our first quarter was very good; we had a lot of shots on goal, but we probably didn’t have the shots on goal where we would want them.”
Leading by 29 points at the first change, Hickey knew Amateur would be able to score with the assistance of the breeze.
“The second quarter, I thought we still battled really hard even though it was a strong wind,” he said.
“It was the third quarter that let us down. We just got beaten at the ball.
“But, I thought the last quarter showed a tremendous fight and determination from our boys, and we actually played the way we wanted to play from the start.
“It took us a bit longer to get to that point, but full credit to Amateurs.
“They brought the game that they thought could win it, and I thought they did that for most of the game.”
Hickey revealed members of Russell’s family were in the rooms in the build-up to the game, while football director Michael Fitzgerald spoke about the impact of Russell and fellow Legend Max Harvey on the club.
“Fitzy said it was something like 150 years of service between two blokes,” Hickey said.
“We think it’s a respectful thing to do to honour people that have given so much to your club.
“It was good to see his family in there, and I know that a couple of our senior players were even mentioning as to why we’re wearing (black armbands), ‘and if you can find a little bit of inspiration from anywhere you can, then that might be it’.”
Trailing by nine points at the final change, Ammos co-coach Dan Holroyd dared to dream of a famous victory when Tommy Stephen kicked his third goal of the match to pull his team to within two points.
“We were feeling pretty good at three-quarter time,” he said. “We executed a game plan that was working in the third quarter.
“When they had the breeze, we got ourselves back in the game.
“We were conscious the wind wasn’t going to do it for us in the last quarter.
“But we just blazed away too much and kicked it to their spare, which was probably the difference in the end.”
Stephen and Brydon Barnett finished three goals apiece, while co-coach Sam Darley was prominent all afternoon despite hurting reinjuring his quad in the first quarter.
Connor Joseph managed two goals for Modewarre to take his season tally to 68, with veteran midfielder Josh Finch and captain Jeremy Ollis willing the Warriors across the line.
However, they might be without Tom Worpel for the clash with the Hawks.
He was taken to hospital after suffering a knock to the throat.
Image: Josh Finch stood out in Modewarre’s elimination final win over Geelong Amateur. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)