Rovers over Ormond in Rivalry Round

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Hampton Rovers Football Club celebrated 150 Years of Australian Football on Saturday with a huge day at Boss James Reserve capped off with a 15-point win over Ormond to maintain their unbeaten start to the 2008 season.

A big crowd of around 1,500 was on hand at the David Street ground for VAFA’s Rivalry Round to see the top two teams in C Section go head to head. The Rovers and Ormond have shared a big rivalry over almost 80 years, peaking in an A Section flag for the Rovers in 1951.

The day started with the traditional Rovers luncheon, however Saturday’s luncheon filled the rooms to capacity with 150 in attendance and Mick Malthouse, David Parkin and Ross Smith as guest speakers. The coin toss was done by Richmond & former Ormond player Will Thurstfield. Both teams then lined up for the playing of the National Anthem.

Rovers captain Matt Lawrence playing in his 200th club game won the toss and kicked to the Northern end of the ground. After all the pre-game hype the opening few minutes were quite dull but the Rovers soon fired up and finished the quarter booting 6 goals to Ormond’s 2 to set up a 28 point lead at the first break.

That set up a similar storyline for the following two quarters with Ormond doing most of the work early on and the home side responding late to maintain their lead.  5 Rovers goals to Ormond’s 3 in the second term extended the home team’s advantage to 41 points at the main break.

Playing in their one-off heritage jumpers, the Rovers were playing some sensational footy and lifted for the big day. Stand-out players were all over the ground however new recruit this year Ryan Semmel was having his best game yet running rampant in the middle.

The third term saw Ormond outscore the Rovers 6 goals to 4 and going into the final quarter, it was Hampton with a 31 point lead. The home side knew they needed a couple of quick goals early on to cement the win, and that they did booting 4 quick majors and the game was as good as gone with the Rovers up by 53 points. Late on though, Ormond made a resurgence and kicked 6 unanswered goals to peg the margin right back. Unfortunately for them it was too late and as the final siren blew, it was a 15 point win to the Hampton Rovers.

Matt Lawrence ended up with 6 goals for the game with the other multiple goal kickers Rob Alexander 4 and Ryan Semmel 2. Among the best players for the Rovers were Gary Carr, Ryan Semmel, Benn Martyn, Jason Zampaglione and Leigh Fletcher.

The win sees the Rovers remain the only undefeated team in C Section and 6 points clear on top of the ladder. Ormond drop from second to fourth. Next week the Rovers take on Rupertswood for the first time and what will be a tough game.

Hampton Rovers  6.4  11.7  15.11 19.13 (127)
Ormond  2.0  5.2  11.4  17.10 (112)
Goal Kickers: M. Lawrence 6, R. Alexander 4, R. Semmel 2, M. Devereaux, L. Fletcher, N. Greenwood, T. Pucella, J. Zampaglione, T. Curry, L. Dallas
Best Players: G. Carr, R. Semmel, B. Martyn, J. Zampaglione, L. Fletcher, J. McCarthy

The Reserves started well but wasted several opportunities with Ormond proving too good to run out 21-point winners. Meanwhile the Under 19’s suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of equal-top Monash Blues. Best for the Rovers were the Howe brothers, Schmitz and Ward.

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