The Hampton Rovers faced one of their biggest tests of the season when they took on top-of-the-table Old Mentonians at Boss James Reserve on Saturday. Despite having three key players out, the Rovers put on an impressive display to defeat the Panthers by 25 points in an entertaining game making it six wins on the trot.
Photo by Berk McGowan – www.bigcat.net.au
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There was plenty of pre-match hype going into this one, with many predicting one of the games of the season. The biggest crowd of the season rolled up to Boss James Reserve to catch all the action. Overnight rain left the ground soggy however it was perfect football conditions on the day.
The Rovers kicked the opening goal of the game and went on to reach their target of 5 majors in the first term while Mentone kicked 3 of their own. At the first break, the home side held a 13-point lead.
Like the first quarter, the second was a close one with both sides going goal for goal and every player on the ground going in hard for the footy. The game was living up to all expectations. As the half time siren sounded, there was a bit of push and shove between the two teams. Both teams managed 4 goals each for the quarter and at the main break, it was Hampton holding on to a 13 point advantage.
The third quarter is known as the premiership quarter and its often where a game is won and lost. The Hampton backline again proved its worth as they kept Mentone scoreless while managing a couple of their own to increase the lead to 25 points at the final break.
Hampton were looking the goods however they knew the job wasn?t done yet with memories still fresh in their minds of round 2 when Mentone kicked a few late goals to snatch the win.
Again it was a tight quarter however the Rovers managed to keep the ball in their 50 for the majority of the quarter. 50-gamer Lee Smith kicked the sealer with under a minute remaining on the clock. The Rovers kicked 2 goals to 3 in the final term however the margin could have been greater if not for inaccurate kicking. With only 4 behinds up to three quarter time, they managed 8 in the final term – a total of 10 scoring shots to 5.
As was the case with the same margin at quarter and half time, the final margin was the same as that at the final break – 25 points, as the Rovers defeat the current top side 13.12.90 to 10.5.65.
Hampton have had many great performances this season, however this one rated up their among the best, even more so considering three of their best players in Alexander, Devereaux and M.Fletcher were missing from the lineup.
Daniel Andersen was instrumental for the Rovers putting in a best on ground performance while ruckman Anton Duddy was another standout for the green ?n golds. Other better players were Jason Zampaglione, Gary Carr, James McCarthy, Leigh De Boer and Mark Ferrari, however again the team as a whole played great
The only multiple goal kicker was full forward Matthew Lawrence kicking 3. The Rovers had another 10 single goal kickers.
The win sees the Rovers remain in 4th position on the ladder however are now just two points off 3rd and one game off 2nd, while there is now a one game gap plus percentage between the Rovers and 5th-placed Old Geelong. The Rovers have now defeated all three teams ahead of them on the ladder (Oakleigh, Old Mentonians and Prahran).
Next week the Rovers make the long trek to play Yarra Valley and will be looking to make it seven consecutive wins. Last time the two teams met back in round 3 at Boss James Reserve, the Rovers ran out 163-point winners. However they have improved and will be a different proposition away.
The Reserves suffered a disappointing loss however they still remain in the race for finals action. Best players were Ben Theodore, Jarred Schafer, Nathan Foster, Edi Melnjak, Brenton Henry and David Anderson, while the Rovers had six single goal kickers.
The Under 19s recorded another strong victory defeating Prahran-Caulfield by 54 points to remain in 2nd position on the ladder. Tom Mitchell, Jackson Ward, Matthew Law and Lachlan Batt were best players for the Rovers while Jason Giasoumi, Nathan Morecroft, Jack Baxter and Tom Mitchell each kicked 2 goals.
HAMPTON ROVERS 5.2 9.4 11.4 13.12 (90)
OLD MENTONIANS 3.1 7.3 7.3 10.5 (65)
Goals: Lawrence 3, Carr, Duddy, Ferrari, Flahive, Holt, Smith, Terech, Ting, Trembath, Zampaglione.
Best: Andersen, Duddy, Zampaglione, Carr, McCarthy, De Boer, Ferrari.
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