Rovers break hoodoo against Blues

The Hampton Rovers broke through for their first win of the season on Saturday in a convincing 50-point thrashing over the Monash Blues at Clayton.


Sitting in third spot after two rounds, Monash have proven to be a bogie side for the green and gold’s with the Rovers unable to find a win in recent years, however the inclusion of Gribbin and Fletcher from the VFL and the return of Tregear helped the Rovers post their first win of the season.


Once again it was cold conditions which greeted the players out at the University and unpredictable wind made it hard for both sides. Monash started the better kicking three early goals however two goals to the Rovers gave them a three point lead at the first break. It could have been much more if not for the inaccurate kicking, as the Rovers recorded 10 behinds.


The Rovers improved their accuracy in the second term kicking five goals one to the home side’s three goals straight. Hampton went to the sheds at half time holding a handy 16 point lead.


The VFL inclusions were proving to make a difference for the Rovers with Daniel Gribbin from Port Melbourne taking several strong marks and Leigh Fletcher from Sandingham using his trademark leg speed to his advantage. However the whole team stepped up from the previous two disappointing performances to play much improved footy.


The third quarter was a close one with the Rovers kicking four goals to Monash’s three. At the final break, Hampton held a 22 point advantage and was confident coming home towards the scoring end.


The confidence showed as the Rovers booted six goals while restricting the home side to just the one. As the final siren blew, the Rovers had recorded their first win of the 2006 VAFA season with a strong 50-point victory.


The players elation was obvious following the game and Rovers coach Brett McIlwraith summed it up by saying it was a huge relief to get a win on the board.


With the players now getting that winning feeling once again, they?ll be looking to continue on as they take on arch rivals Ormond this Saturday at Boss James Reserve in what is set to be a huge local derby. A big crowd is expected to be on hand as these two district clubs go head-to-head, so make sure you?re at David Street for all the action.


Best players for the Rovers were Daniel Gribbin, Leigh Fletcher, Alex Crisp, Gerrard Woods, Mark Devereaux and Stuart Burggraaff. Chris Lambert topped the goalkicking with 4 while Anthony Browne and Nick Greenwood were the other multiples with 2 each.


Hampton Rovers:  2.10,  7.11,  11.13,  17.14 (116)

Monash Blues:  3.1,  6.1,  9.3,  10.6,  10.6 (66)

Best: Daniel Gribbin, Leigh Fletcher, Alex Crisp, Gerrard Woods, Mark Devereaux, Stuart Burggraaff.

Goals: Chris Lambert 4, Anthony Browne 2, Nick Greenwood 2, Stuart Burggraaff, Mark Devereaux, Leigh Fletcher, Daniel Gribbin, Matthew Lawrence, Tim Wilmott, Gerrard Woods, Jeremy Yelland, Nick Henry.


It was a double-up for the Hampton Rovers with the Reserves also winning their first game of the season. They were in front all day but fell away in the final term as Monash took the lead. However the Rovers regained the lead and won the game by 2 points in a tight one.


Paul Adams and Michael Fletcher in his first game of the year starred for the Rovers with Lonie, Wheeler, Ward and Malthouse also playing well. The Chief kicked 3 goals with singles to David Anderson, Marshall, Quon, Rootsey and Young.


The Under 19’s didn?t have the same success as they were defeated by a strong Old Haileybury at Boss James Reserve. Kyle Pinto, Nicholas Lyall and Alex Ross were best for the home side while Rory White kicked 3 goals with 2 each to Jason Giasoumi and Lyall.

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