Rovers stumble to another loss

The Hampton Rovers have now won just the one game since the half way mark of the season after going undefeated for the first nine games, following their defeat to Ajax in Round 14 at Albert Park on Saturday.

The Rovers lead on top of the ladder is now just the single game, with Oakleigh and Ajax in second place followed by Ormond a further game behind.

The game had been transferred to Gary Smorgon Oval from Elsternwick Park during the week due to ground maintenance at VAFA HQ’s and the conditions had cooled considerably for the 2pm kick-off.

Hampton had a few ins with Gravina, Lyall and Smith returning to the line-up however it was all Ajax early on as they controlled the centre in the opening term winning the bulk of the centre breaks managing to kick five goals to three.

It was more of the same in the second quarter as the home side took control of the game and kicked seven goals to two. At the main break they held a commanding 42 point lead.

The Rovers were struggling with their delivery to the forward line and finishing off without a notable target man with both Greenwood and Lawrence missing from the lineup.

The third quarter saw the Rovers add just one major – on the siren, while Ajax kicked a further five to stretch their lead to 66 points just about sealing the win there and then.

Rovers coach Gary Sheldon urged his charges not to give up and beat their individual opponents in the final term. To their credit, they held Ajax goalless and kicked four goals of their own however it could have been more if not for some poor kicking resulting in missed opportunities from right in front. With the final siren blowing, it was Ajax by 40 points, turning around the 71 points drubbing from Round 8.

In his 200th club game, Rovers full back Gerrard Woods was best for the visitors and was well supported by Jay Ting, Rob Alexander and Josh Verlin. Alexander and Luke Dallas kicked two goals each with singles to Lyall, Malthouse, McNamara, Pinto, Semmel and Woods.

Next week the Rovers will be looking for a much needed confidence booster as they take on bottom side Whitefriars away on Sunday at Bulleen.

HAMPTON ROVERS  3.2  5.7  6.8  10.11 (71)
5.2  12.7  17.8  17.9 (111)
Goals: Alexander 2, Dallas 2, Lyall, Malthouse, McNamara, Pinto, Semmel, Woods.
Best: Woods, Ting, Alexander, Verlin, Duddy, Pinto.

The Reserves started well but Ajax ran over them in the second half to get up by 38 points. The Under 19’s kicked 27 goals and had a huge 124 point win over Parkdale Vultures away at Gerry Green Reserve to remain in third position on the ladder. Nathan David was the star kicking 9 goals. Click Here to read the full report.

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