Rovers off to winning start in C Grade

Matt Lawrence on his way to kicking 8 goals against Oakleigh
Photo by Berk McGowan
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Hampton Rovers captain Matt Lawrence kicked 8 goals in his 150th senior game for the club to lead his side to a 26-point win over Oakleigh in the season opener at Boss James Reserve.

It was another good contest between the two sides who have developed a good rivalry. Another good crowd was on hand at David Street to catch all the action in warm conditions.

The Rovers had several first gamers in Tom Curry, Kelvin Rudd, Tom McNamara & Ben Theodore. Still without several senior players, Hampton were looking for a strong performance in the first game of the 2008 VAFA season.

The Rovers got off to a good start in the opening term kicking 6 goals to 3. Matt Terech was doing great in the ruck while Tom Curry in his first game was instrumental in the middle.

Another 6 goals in the second quarter to Oakleigh’s 2 set up a good half time lead of 41 points.

Rovers coach Gary Sheldon urged his charges not to lie down in the second half, however the home side could only manage the single goal while the krushers slightly reduced the lead by kicking 3 majors.

The final term saw the visiting team get within a few goals at one stage however late goals to Hampton steadied the ship. 5 goals to 6 in the last showed a 26-point point win to the Rovers on the scoreboard. Final scores Hampton Rovers 18.10.118 defeated Oakleigh 14.8.92.

Better players for the Rovers were Matt Lawrence with 8 goals in his milestone game as well as Tom Curry, Leigh Fletcher and Jason Zampaglione. Other multiple goal kickers were Stuart Burggraaff, Luke Dallas and Zampaglione with 2 goals each.

The win sees the Rovers start the season in 5th position after big wins to Parkdale (1st), Ajax (2nd), Monash Blues (3rd) and Ormond (4th). Next week the Rovers face Monash Blues away at Monash University in Clayton.

HAMPTON ROVERS  6.2  12.3  13.4  18.10 (118)
OAKLEIGH  3.3  5.4  8.7  14.8 (92)
Goals: Lawrence 8, Burggraaff 2, Dallas 2, Zampaglione 2, Devereaux, Fletcher, Pinto, Pucella.
Best: Lawrence, Curry, Fletcher, Zampaglione, McCarthy, Terech.

In other results, the Reserves were overwhelmed by a strong Oakleigh outfit with Lachie Wheeler best for the Rovers while the Under 19’s got off to a great start defeating Prahran-Caulfield by 1 point. Best for the Rovers were Baxter, Goss, Law, Greenway, Lovig and Steendam. Donald and Steendam kicked 3 each while Lewis, Moran and Ward kicked 2 each.

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