The Hampton Rovers kicked-off their finals campaign in style with an emphatic 101-point thrashing over Prahran on Sunday. It was perfect conditions for the first semi final at Cheltenham and a large Rovers crowd turned up for the big game.
Photo by Berk McGowan
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It was the first senior VAFA final for the Rovers since the premiership year of 2001 and the boys were fired up and ready to go after being pumped up by coach Gary Sheldon.
From the opening siren, the Rovers had all the play and despite having 13 scoring shots to 3, the quarter time scoreboard showed three goals each with the Rovers up by 10 points. Inaccuracy in front of goal had been a sticking point for Rovers and they knew it was something they had to improve.
It was the second and third quarters where Hampton really turned it on and led to Prahrans downfall as they failed to kick a goal. The second term saw the Rovers add 6 goals onto their tally to produce a 47-point half time lead.
Hampton stepped up a gear in the third term booting another 9 goals and at the final break the game was all but over with the Rovers up by 111 points. Hampton were playing some of their best footy all year with a great running game and skills. The conversion rate inside 50 was also a noticeable positive for the green & golds.
Prahran went out in the final term with the aim of adding respectability to the scoreboard, and that they did, slightly outscoring the Rovers 8 goals to 7. However it was too little too late for the Two Blues whos season came to an end.
Final Score 25.29.179 to 11.12.78 to the Hampton Rovers who now move on to next Saturdays Preliminary Final against Old Mentonians at Trevor Barker Oval. Mentonians went down to Oakleigh by 1 point on Sunday in a thriller and it promises to be a massive game this Saturday at Sandringham with a spot in the Grand Final and 2008 C Section up for grabs.
Goal kickers for the Rovers were Jason Zampaglione and Leroy De Boer with 4 each, Daniel Andersen, Mark Devereaux and Luke Dallas with 3 each, Michael Flahive and Mark Ferrari with 2 each, and singles to Jay Ting, Matt Lawrence, Ben Kezilas and Stuart Burggraaff.
On Friday night, the Hampton Rovers Under 19s went down to Mazenod in the second semi final. The Rovers who finished the season second the ladder have a second chance though, and return to Elsternwick Park this Friday night to take on Old Haileybury for a spot in the season decider.
Best players for the Rovers were Alex Ross, Matt Innes, Michael Davis, Stefan Krull, Jackson Ward and Andrew Mortimer. Jason Giasoumi led the goal kicking with 3 while Morecroft, McCarthy, White, Trembath and Krull each kicked singles.