Saturday was all about one man. Following the sudden passing of Graham Carr during the week, the Hampton Rovers went out and dished out a football lesson at Parkdale Vultures expense, thrashing the local rivals by 129 points in an emotion-charged day at Boss James Reserve.
As the entire club struggles to come to terms with the loss, a big crowd showed up at the David Street ground to pay respect to an irreplaceable clubman. The Rovers and Australian flags flew at half mast, the Rovers players and supporters wore green and gold armbands, and a minutes silence was held prior to the game.
Its almost fair to say it wouldn?t have mattered who the Rovers opponents were on Saturday, they were always going to win. The seniors put on one of their best performances of the year, while it was the same story for the Reserves and Under 19s who all got up by big margins.
Rovers captain Matt Lawrence returned from a long stint on the sidelines due to injury, won the toss and kicked to the David Street with the aid of a four goal wind. He was joined by Nick Greenwood who also made a return and with their two key forwards back in, it was bound to make a big difference to the teams ability to convert.
From the opening bounce, the Rovers showed they were switched on running Parkdale ragged and displaying great skill as they booted six goals while keeping the visitors scoreless in the first term.
With a strong wind, the Rovers needed to follow up in the second term against it, and that they did, kicking a further six majors while restricting the Vultures to just the two. At half time, the Rovers held a 65 point lead.
It was a consistent scoreboard with the Rovers again kicking six goals in the third and Parkdale goalless while the final term produced another six goals with the sorry Vultures managing just the two.
As the final siren blew, it was the Hampton Rovers getting up by 129 points, 24.15 (159) to 4.6 (30), their biggest victory of the year. The club song was sung with passion by all and theres no doubt someone was looking down from above with a little grin on his face as he cracked open another Lightice.
Matt Lawrence made a great return kicking six goals for the Rovers while Nick Greenwood and Ryan Semmel finished with three each. The whole team played well however standouts for the home side included Jay Ting, Stuart Burggraaff and Nick Lyall.
With Ormond defeating Oakleigh, the Rovers are now two games clear on top of the C Section ladder with two rounds remaining, and they have 8% on second-placed Oakleigh. Ajax and Ormond round out the top four.
Next week the Hampton Rovers take on Mazenod at Central Reserve before rounding out the home and away season against Rupertswood at home with finals action to follow.
HAMPTON ROVERS 6.5 12.6 18.12 24.15 (159)
PARKDALE VULTURES 0.0 2.1 2.3 4.6 (30)
Goal Kickers: M. Lawrence 6, N. Greenwood 3, R. Semmel 3, M. Devereaux 2, N. Lyall 2, T. Curry 2, L. Dallas 2, M. Terech, J. Zampaglione, K. Pinto, J. Ting.
Best Players: J. Ting, S. Burggraaff, N. Lyall, J. McCarthy, L. Fletcher, J. Ward.
The Rovers thank Parkdale for their attendance at the Luncheon and for allowing us to conduct the minutes silence prior to the game. In total there were over 70 people in attendance at the Luncheon with good numbers from Parkdale. Its much appreciated.
The Reserves and Under 19s played with the same emotion and both recorded similar results to the Seniors, all getting up by big margins. In the earlier game, the Reserves had one of their better teams in for the year and defeated Parkdale by 69 points. Alex Ross was best on while Tony Pucella kicked 4 goals.
The Under 19s took on Bentleigh away and put in another great effort, kicking 20 goals to win by 100 points. Nathan Davidson kicked 6 to increase his tally to 25 in the last three games. The other major goal kicker was Matt Innes with 5. Max Greenway, Jack Eastman and Jesse Lovig were among the best players for the Rovers. Click Here for the full U19’s report.
This ones for you Graham.
You will be truly missed by all.