A disappointing season for the Hampton Rovers came to an end on Saturday with a 23-point defeat against Fitzroy Reds at Brunswick Street Oval. With North Old Boys defeating Monash Blues, the Rovers fell to second bottom on the ladder and have therefore been relegated for the 2007 season.
It was a sombre mood in the rooms following the game as Rovers coach Brett McIlwraith gave his final speech as senior coach. The Rovers will now compete in D section next year for the first time since 1995. However as the age old saying goes, sometimes you need to take a step back to move forward, and thats what the Rovers will be looking for as the club re-builds and moves their way back up the ranks.
It was great conditions for footy on Saturday at the former stomping ground of the Fitzroy Lions, Brunswick Street Oval. Both sides came out firing and it was a fast-paced opening term. Fitzroy got the jump on the Rovers kicking 5 goals to 2.
The home side won the second quarter kicking a further 4 goals while the Rovers managed 3. At the main break, it was the Reds by 23 points.
The Rovers managed 4 goals in the third term with Fitzroy kicking 3 and at the final break it was the home still with a 23 point advantage.
Knowing it was the final quarter of the year, the Rovers were urged to put it all on the line, and they seemed to have some extra spark, however Fitzroy managed to hold off the visitors. Both teams kicked 2 goals each and the final margin was the same it had been at the two previous breaks, 23 points.
The disappointment was evident as the final siren blew, in the eyes of both the players and supporters. As the teams came off the famous ground, they received deserved applause from the large travelling contingent of visiting supporters. The effort of the Rovers side all year couldn?t be questioned.
Fitzroy Reds: 5.1 9.4 12.11 14.14 (98)
Best: Lachlan Batt, James McCarthy, Sam Parkinson, Lachlan Wheeler, Mark Devereaux,
Goals: Adam Power 3, Mark Devereaux 3, Anthony Browne 2, Drew Anderson,
After two successive victories, the Reserves finished off their season with a defeat. Best for the Rovers were Scott Cannell, John Williams, Nick Oriti, David O?Brien, Brad McDonald and Andrew Mudge. Goalkickers were Matthew Gray and Ashley Fisher.
While the Under 19s finished their season off in great style with a 69-point win over Parkdale Vultures, finishing the season in 5th position on the ladder. Best players for the Rovers were Lee Smith, Kyle Pinto, Nick Lyall, Rory White, Rob Lang and Emery Lonie. Nathan Morecroft topped the goalkicking with 4. The other multiples were Tom McCarthy, Kyle Pinto, Jarred Schafer and Rory White with 2 each, while Matt Curry, Moss Judson, Emery Lonie, Josh Schmitz and Jackson Ward each kick singles.
Don?t forget 2006 Senior Presentation Night on Friday 15th September at Boss James Reserve and the 2006 Senior Vote Count on Sunday 10th September also at Boss James Reserve. For full details on both of these events, click here and stay tuned to the Rovers website.