The Hampton Rovers played their first practice hit-out of the season on Saturday with many positives coming from the one point win over EFL side Donvale. Next Saturday the Rovers take on Old Mentonians also at Keysborough.
The Rovers had a big list of unavailables for Saturdays game including up to 10 regular ones players unable to play. Yet over 60 players took the field for the three games indicating numbers are very strong for the 2009 season which will also see the introduction of a Rovers Thirds team participating in the VAFA Club XVIII competition.
The main oval at the Mentone Grammar Playing Fields in Keysborough was in pristine condition however the 30-plus temperature and strong wind made conditions tough. The Under 19s got things under way and had the best of the conditions kicking things off at 9:30am and despite playing a couple of players down, fell short only by just a couple of points.
The Reserves put in a good performance and were defeated by a few goals while the Seniors led for most of the game and after being up by a couple of goals at the last change, managed to restrict Donvale in the final term who were kicking with the wind and hold on by a single point. Some good signs from the boys with a number of first gamers playing well.
The Rovers will now step up training Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6pm at Boss James Reserve – new players are more than welcome down for a run.
Next up is a practice game on Saturday 28th March against Old Mentonians at the same venue – Mentone Grammar Playing Fields, Springvale Road Keysborough (Melways Ref: 88 HD), opposite Haileybury. The 2009 VAFA season is now under a month away, commencing on April 18 with the Rovers at home.