Rovers cruise into Grand Final

The Hampton Rovers put on another top performance thrashing Old Mentonians by 77 points in the Preliminary Final at Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday to book a spot in this week’s D1 Grand Final against Oakleigh. The win also sees the club promoted back up to C Section for the 2008 season after the one year in D.

It was expected to be a top game with both teams in form and the right time of the season. Old Mentonians were coming off a one point loss in the second semi last week to Oakleigh while Hampton belted Prahran by 101 points to set up the big Preliminary Final. A large crowd made its way to Sandringham to catch all the action on a perfect spring day for finals footy.

The Rovers kicked the opening goal of the game kicking towards the social club end, however Old Mentonians responded kicking the next three in ten minutes. It was a tight opening term with both sides going in hard and playing good footy. The Rovers stepped up a gear and finished the quarter well kicking 5 goals to take a three goal lead into the first break. Promising for the Rovers was their straight kicking with no behinds in the first quarter, a stark contrast to previous week’s.

Kicking against the wind in the second term, the Rovers started to dominate play and booted five goals while holding Mentone to two. At the main break, it was the Rovers up by 32 points and looking good.

Coach Gary Sheldon told his chargers the game would be won or lost in the opening minutes of the third term and the boys responded by going out and booting 8 goals. The Panthers could only add one onto their tally and the game looked just about over at the final break with Hampton holding a big 76 point lead.

The Rovers were moving the ball well around the ground and were taking strong marks. Hampton put on another 6 goals in the last quarter while Mentonians managed 6 of their own to add a bit of respectability to their score. However at the final siren it was the Hampton Rovers running out big winners 25.10.160 to 12.11.83 – a big 77 point win going into next Saturday’s Grand Final also at Trevor Barker Oval.

Rovers captain and full forward Matthew Lawrence led the way kicking 9 goals while Anthony Browne managed 3. Ruckman Anton Duddy was great for the Rovers and was well supported by Mark Devereaux, James McCarthy, Luke Dallas and Daniel Andersen who has been invited to the VAFA Presentation Night on Monday as the Rovers top vote getter.

The Rovers take on Oakleigh next Saturday in the Grand Final at Trevor Barker Oval and it promises to be a big one. It’s not the only Grand Final for the club next week with the Under 19’s taking on Mazenod Friday night at Elsternwick Park after they defeated Old Haileybury in the Preliminary Final. That match commences at 6:40pm.

HAMPTON ROVERS  6.0  11.3  19.6  25.10 (160)
OLD MENTONIANS  3.3  5.7  6.8  12.11 (83)
Lawrence 9, Browne 3, Burggraaff 2, De Boer 2, Malthouse 2, Terech 2, Dallas, Devereaux, Ferrari, L.Fletcher, Zampaglione.
Duddy, Devereaux, McCarthy, Lawrence, Dallas, Andersen.

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