On a sunny but windy morning at Boss James Reserve, the Hampton Rovers U19s looked to have the game in the bag at the final break – one goal down kicking with the wind. But not to be, in the last quarter the Ajax onballers used the ball well against the wind and with a couple of their forwards pulling down some big marks they ran over us in the last 15 minutes to win by 16 points.
With a Bye for the Seniors, Jack Eastman and Nathan Davidson returned to the team and Nick Lyall made a rare appearance as an U19 so the Rovers started the game brimming with confidence. While not dismayed by what has become our traditional slow start it took us until three quarter time to get within striking distance. Our third quarter was sensational where we played all over Ajax against the wind only to hand them a couple of cheap goals in the last few minutes. Poor kicking for goal again marred the hard work further down the field.
With Jess Gould playing well at full back on Ajaxs gun full forward and Max Greenway on top, the backline for most of the game held fast. The midfield played well but was unable to fully capitalize on Jess Lovigs tap dominance. A solid return by Jason Clifford after 8 weeks out and good performances by Kelvin Rudd, Hayden Lewis, Russ Howe and Jack Eastman give the Rovers confidence on the run to the finals where we play the bottom end of the ladder.
The Under 19s are away against Parkdale next Saturday back at the usual 2pm start. The Rovers need a big win to cement our position in the four.
Meanwhile after a week off, the Seniors are back in action when they take on Ajax in the game of the round at Gary Smorgan Oval, Albert Park from 2:00pm.
HAMPTON ROVERS 2.3 7.7 10.9 12.15 (89)
AJAX 5.5 8.5 11.9 16.9 (105)
Goals: Lovig 2, Donald 2, Innes 2, Schmitz 2, Davidson 1, R.Howe 1, H.Lewis 1, Lyall 1
Best: Gould, Greenway, Lovig, H.Lewis, Rudd, R.Howe, Eastman