Rovers demolish Rupertswood, Finish Top

The Hampton Rovers have finished the 2008 home and away season as minor premiers of C Section after belting Rupertswood to the tune of 150 points at Boss James Reserve on Saturday. The Rovers focus now turns to the 2nd Semi Final when they take on Ormond next Saturday at Junction Oval.

The final home game of the season attracted another large crowd to the David Street ground and it was a good atmosphere as the Rovers produced the highest score of any senior team in the top three sections of the VAFA this year.

Rupertswood had little to play for as they were already assured of relegation for the first time in their short history, however it was still a danger game with a few players missing and a loss meaning the Rovers could drop as low as third and miss the double chance.

The sun came out for the first bounce and the Rovers looked on the job from the start. For the second home game in a row, the visitors failed to produce a score in the opening stanza while the Rovers booted seven to lead by 46 points.

The scoreline continued in similar fashion in the second term with the Rovers adding a further six majors while Rupertswood kicked two. Following the main break, it was another great quarter by the home side, booting eight to the visitors two.

At the final change the Rovers held a 112 point lead over the hapless Rupertswood. However the home side weren?t about to take the foot off the accelerator as coach Gary Sheldon set a target of 30 goals for the game. With finals one week away, the players wanted to maintain their hot form, and that they did, bombing away to add 10 majors to the scoreboard and finish with 31 goals 16 to Rupertswood 8 goals 4 – a 150 point margin.

At full forward, Nick Greenwood was exceptional for the Rovers with strong marking and even better kicking, finishing with a bag of 10 for the day and a best on ground performance. Matt Lawrence was also good up front with 5, while Ryan Semmel kicked 4, Luke Dallas 3 and 2 each to Matt Terech and Jason Zampaglione.

Best players were found all over the ground for the Rovers, others to make it into the best were Jason Giasoumi, Jason Zampaglione, Luke Dallas, Leigh Fletcher and Ryan Semmel.

The Rovers score of 31.16.202 is the highest of an senior team in the VAFA this year and the highest score by the Rovers since Round 7 last year when they posted 38.16.244 against Therry Penola.

The win means the Rovers finish one game clear on top of the VAFA C Section ladder, a great performance after being promoted from D1 section for the 2008 season. However the job is only half done. The Rovers need to win one of the following two games to gain promotion to B Section for 2009 and earn a spot in the Grand Final.

With Ajax just getting over the line against Mazenod and both Ormond and Oakleigh recording big wins, Ormond replace Ajax in second spot with Oakleigh rounding out the top four. That sets up a monster 2nd Semi Final next Saturday at Junction Oval between the Hampton Rovers and Ormond, the two district powerhouses of the VAFA, with the winning going straight into the season decider, and the loser playing off against the winner of Ajax and Oakleigh.

HAMPTON ROVERS  7.4  13.11  21.14  31.16 (202)
RUPERTSWOOD  0.0  2.3  4.4  8.4 (52)
N. Greenwood 10, M. Lawrence 5, R. Semmel 4, L. Dallas 3, M. Terech 2, J. Zampaglione 2, M. Devereaux, T. Pucella, K. Pinto, T. Curry, J. Verlin.
N. Greenwood, J. Giasoumi, J. Zampaglione, L. Dallas, L. Fletcher, R. Semmel.

In the Reserves, the Rovers defeated Rupertswood by 34 points to finish the season with a 8-10 record. Lachie Wheeler was best on ground for the home team. They miss out on finals action, finishing fifth, however five wins separate the Rovers and fourth placed Ajax.

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