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Eagles win in howling wind

Published: Monday 31st July 2017 10:09 PM by HRAFC

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Marcellin won the toss on Saturday and in 20 minutes, kicking with the howling northerly, it was game over.  In a great display of accurate kicking, the opposition banged on nine goals (four of them in time-on in the quarter) without the Rovers troubling the scorers.

Of course, the Rovers had the wind in the second term, but just couldn’t take full advantage of it, failing to get the scoreboard to tick over. Hampton again this week dominated in the ruck whether it was Sam Clements or Charlie Thorpe, but our midfielders just couldn’t get their hands on the ball.  It wasn’t for a lack of effort – the skipper kept throwing himself into the fray, Roland DeBiase was going in hard as was Mat Care who was in and under the packs.  However the Rovers just weren’t getting clean use of the ball from the clearances.

At half time, Hampton trailed by eight goals and the wind hadn’t let up.  It was looking like a long afternoon with some ominous signs for the second half if we didn’t lift our game.  The third quarter was a tough, dour struggle.  While the Eagles kicked five goals they weren’t clearly on top.  We had more of the ball but were just not able to score, conversely when Marcellin wrestled the ball from us, they used the wind well and goaled with monotonous regularity.  Luke Deville continued his good form either at full back or centre half back as did Josh Pavlou back in the side after a week away.  Adam McNeil, who was playing the loose man role in defence, was his ever reliable self and was probably the only Rover who consistently kicked the ball well in the atrocious conditions.  Many times during the day, the lofted kick out of defence boomeranged back to where it started. Even the goal posts were feeling the pressure and at one stage appeared to have a decided down-wind tilt.

The Rovers boys had their chance in the last quarter and finally hit the scoreboard.  No doubt, the feature was Sam Clements kicking from full back.  Just about every kick in he had reached the centre circle and the longest actually bounced to inside 50 where Speedy McPherson swooped and kicked a fine goal on the run.  Sam continued the fine kicking and when he marked at 50m it was a forgone conclusion that it would be a goal – it was. Campbell Hetherington was not to be denied and kicked two goals for the afternoon, the second assisted by a 25m penalty.   Ant Folino was named by the coach as our best for his hard work around the packs and up forward.

Unfortunately for Hampton, Old Mentonians managed a win on Saturday which has left us two games and percentage behind them in 9th place and only a miracle can save us from relegation in 2017. This week, there is a bye and the following week, the Rovers host Old Haileybury at Boss James Reserve.

HAMPTON ROVERS  0.0  2.4  2.5  7.7 (49)
MARCELLIN  9.2  10.2  15.6  16.10 (106)
Goal Kickers: C. Hetherington 2, J. McPherson, N. Fallon, J. Lloyd, A. Folino, S. Clements
Best Players: A. Folino, M. Care, L. Deville, C. Hetherington, A. McNeil, J. Pavlou

It was an absolute thriller in the Reserves. The Rovers have put in some fine finishes for the home game lunches this year and Saturday was no exception.  Interestingly, even though a gale was blowing, it clearly had minimal impact on the scoreboard.

At the final break, Hampton held a 17 point lead and while Marcellin were the top side in the competition, the boys were confident that they could hold on for what was a much needed win to boost their final’s chances.  With a minute to go, we still held a six point lead and really had control of the ball. Alas, Marcellin in the dying seconds made one final sortie forward and goaled with 7 seconds on the clock to tie the game.  While we needed the four points, the two points still leaves us in the finals race. The last four games of the season will be critical.

A great return game by overseas travelling Ben Tragear-Haig who must have been doing a fair bit of exercise while away as he strongly finished the game.  Rick Jones again had a good game and has been looking cool and calm down back.  Ben Theodore in the ruck was showing his skills of a couple of seasons ago and Thom McCarthy was enjoying time in the midfield.  Ash Fisher was back after a week off and popped through a couple of much needed goals to keep him on top of the goal kicking in Premier C Reserve with 37 for the season.

The Under 19 Firsts went down to Old Ivanhoe by 27 points away from home. The recent change of rule means all U19 overage players must now play in the seconds team, however the Rovers faced a team on Saturday with four overages as they have just the one team and 40 players on their list. Frustrating to say the least. The scores were a point the difference with five minutes left on the clock.  It just shows how things can change if the wind advantage is used to maximum effect.

The skipper, Scotty Ebbott, was the Rovers’ best and his work in the middle all day was outstanding.  Steve Raymer, down back, has improved dramatically as the season has progressed and his great ball judgement and anticipation of the opposition’s forward moves was sensational.  Taylor Chrisp put in another fine game and gave the young Rovers plenty of drive around the ground. A wide spread of goal kickers with Tom Marron featuring with 2 and a host with singles.

A 73 point win for the Under 19 Seconds after a long gruelling bus trip out to La Trobe Uni in Bundoora for a Friday night game was a fitting reward for the boys. A slashing first half where we had 9 goals on the scoreboard to the oppositions 5 behinds.  In the second half, our accuracy in front of goal deserted us as we banged on 4.11 to the opposition’s 2.1 – a total rout if we had kicked a bit straighter.

Corey Jones was again dominant up forward and kicked four goals for the day, Joel Melnjak kicked a couple of great goals and played strongly all night.  Tom Butterss put in his best game for the year and the coach was clearly impressed by his pressure on the ball and the opposition.  Adrian Hugg was named our best in a very even team performance.

Six points out of the finals with games against 3 sides above them in the last 4 rounds is going to make it a very interesting end to the season.  However, the boys have beaten two of those sides in the first half of the home and away season.

The Women’s side played a twilight match following the Seniors on Saturday at the Boss and went down to Mazenod. Despite the loss, the girls have still made the finals in the inaugural season and will take on Old Mentonians at Keysborough on Sunday. Stay tuned for the full match report.

 

MATCH CENTRE

LATEST RESULT
Round 18 - 2 Sep 2017
Old Mentonians
 (Away)

Lost: 12.16.88 - 17.14.116
NEXT GAME
Round 1 - 7 Apr 2018
Division 1 2018
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Paul Curry new Women's coach

The club is pleased to announce Paul Curry as the new Senior Women's head coach for the 2018 VAFA season.

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Training for the 2018 season is now underway for both the men and women and continues until mid-December. We welcome all new and existing players.

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Hampton Rovers Football Club plan to field a Thirds team in 2018 following a hiatus of two years. The club is now looking for players and officials to help make it a reality.

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