Rovers’ season on the line

Hampton Rovers will use the motivation of this Sunday’s grand final replay with Old Essendon at VAFA headquarters in an attempt to reverse a dramatic form slump.

Saturday’s 19-point loss to Mazenod Old Collegians sent Rovers tumbling from the four and set alarm bells ringing.

?We must now recover our early-season performances or face a bleak future with the also-rans of the competition,? spokesman Dick Prideaux said.

In the worst conditions of the season, Rovers slipped behind early and struggled to overcome Mazenod’s systematic handball and penetrating attacks.

Forced into untidy disposals under pressure, Rovers made little impact as the visitors’ talls and midfielders took control.

Adam Power’s six goals was a highlight as were the performances from youngsters Leigh Fletcher and James Connolly while premiership players Michael Fletcher and Dean Busby impressed on return.

In other matches, the Reserves had a miserable loss while the Club XVIII also were defeated by 26 points to Hawthorn, and the Under 19’s had a close encounter losing by just 2 points to Old Ivanhoe away. Next week, the Rovers take on Old Essendon in the 2001 Grand Final replay at Elsternwick Park on Sunday.

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