The Hampton Rovers recorded their first ever win against Parkdale Vultures on Saturday with an 11-point win at Gerry Green Reserve. In a scrappy game, the Rovers were far from their best however they ran over the top of the home side in the final term to keep their unbeaten start to 2008 intact.
Hampton failed to fire until the final quarter with inaccurate kicking and costly errors giving Parkdale the advantage. It was however a spirited contest by both sides with Parkdale looking to get their second win of the season and the Rovers attempting to remain undefeated. In six attempts since 2004 when the Parkdale Vultures were formed as part of a merger, the Rovers have failed to take home any points on all occasions.
Three opening quarter goals plus six behinds to Hamptons one goal five gave the Vultures a 13-point lead at the first break. The second term was a similar story with a further three majors to Parkdale and two to the Rovers. It was the inability to convert though that was causing headaches for coach Gary Sheldon, with a further 5 behinds on the board.
Hampton replicated their second quarter scoring after the main break again kicking two goals five while restricting the home side to just the one major to set up an exciting final quarter, with just 6 points in it.
Finally the Rovers came out of the blocks in the last quarter with a better running game and improved skills, kicking 6 goals. It could have been more though with a further 7 behinds scored. A couple of late goals to the home side brought them back in it however at the end of the day Hampton proved too strong, and finally recorded a victory against the Parkdale team. Final scores 11.22.88 to 11.11.77.
Gary Carr was great for the Rovers at centre half back while Jason Zampaglione and Leigh Fletcher worked hard through the middle. The goals were shared around with Fletcher, Nick Greenwood and Nick Lyall kicking 2 each with singles to Smith, Zampaglione, Ting and Luke Dallas playing in his 100th club game.
Although disappointed with their form early in the game, Sheldon was pleased that the Rovers were able to step up in the final term and get the four points. After being promoted to C Section for the 2008 season, the Rovers are now 4-0 and outright top on the ladder heading into the big Round 5 home game against Ormond in what will be a big test for the green and gold.
Next weeks game is being billed as one of the biggest ever home games at Boss James with Hampton Rovers hosting long time rivals Ormond as part of the VAFAs Rivalry Round and AFLs Community Football Weekend to celebrate 150 years of Australian Football. The Rovers will wear special one-off heritage jumpers for the game and a host of activities are being planned for the day. The Pre-Game Luncheon will feature David Parkin and Hampton Rovers own Ross Smith as guest speakers. A huge crowd is expected at David Street so make sure you?re there for all the action.
HAMPTON ROVERS 1.5 3.10 5.15 11.22 (88)
PARKDALE VULTURES 3.6 6.6 7.9 11.11 (77)
Goals: Fletcher 2, Greenwood 2, Lyall 2, Semmel, Smith, Zampaglione, Ting, Dallas.
Best: Carr, Zampaglione, Fletcher, Devereaux, Verlin, Martyn.
It was another great day for the Rovers all round with the Reserves and Under 19s also recording good wins. In the early game at Gerry Green, the Rovers Reserves defeated Parkdale by three goals. Jason Giasoumi and Michael Flahive kicked the bulk of the Rovers score with 10 goals between them while better players included Justin Ng, Jarred Schafer and Giasoumi.
At Boss James Reserve, the Under 19s maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a tight 4-point victory over De La Salle. The Rovers were up by 5 goals at the final break but let De La back into the game with the visitors kicking 6 goals in the last to the Rovers 2. However they managed to hold on and win 11.12.78 to 10.14.74 to remain equal-top with three other teams on the ladder. The only multiple goal kicker was Josh Schmitz with 3 while Jesse Gould, Steve Howe and Ryan Morcom were best for Hampton.