The Hampton Rovers made the long trek to a wet, windy and dark Essendon on Anzac Day to take on St Bernards and for the second week running failed to come home with the four points following a spirited comeback.
Rovers captain Matt Lawrence loss the coin toss and the home side took the opportunity to kick with a hallowing gale which seemed to be worth at least six or more goals. A very young St Bernards team moved the ball extremely well around the ground and kicked five goals in the opening term, four of which went through the big sticks, to the Rovers one goal.
The Rovers failed to take full advantage of the wind in the second term and while St Bernards managed to kick two majors, the Rovers scored three, including a long range effort from Kyle Pinto after the siren which game the visitors some hope going into the main break with the margin 24 points.
The Rovers were given a rev-up in the sheds at half time and knew they had to hold the home side in the third term to have any hope of victory. That they did for the opening stages, however as the quarter progressed St Bernards did manage to add four goals to their tally however it could have been more with 13 scoring shots with the wind that seemed to had died down just a touch. The Rovers posted two goals and at the final break the margin was 44 points.
As clouds hovered over St Bernards College, rain started to fall and the main oval descended into darkness. Somehow this powered the Rovers into action and they played their best footy of the game. At one stage the visitors pegged the margin back to just 14 points and the impossible looked possible however the home side who play their ground very well steadied the ship with some late goals to win the game by 27 points.
Jason Zampaglione, Leeroy De Boer, Leigh Fletcher and Gary Carr all played well for the Rovers while Daniel Gribbin led the goal kicking for the visitors managing four majors in the time he spent up forward. Kyle Pinto, Rory White and Matt Lawrence kicked two each.
Whilst disappointing to open the season with two losses, positive could again be taken from the game however the Rovers know what they have to do to improve and switch on from the opening bounce. Next week they travel again to take on St Kevins at Righetti Oval in Kooyong.
The Hampton Rovers Under 19s were again the shining light for the club on Saturday getting up by nine goals over Prahran. Tom Youl capped a best on ground performance with 4 goals while Ed Turner, Ned Fallon and Matt Innes kicked 3. Jesse Gould, Richard Atkins and Turner were also better players for the Rovers. Click Here to view the U19’s report.
The Reserves had a strong last quarter to reduce the final margin but still went down by 7 goals while the Thirds playing only their second game together and against another strong outfit in St Bedes Mentone put in a much improved performance but were defeated by 10 goals. Both the Thirds and 19s play their first home double-header next Saturday with the Seniors away at St Kevins.
HAMPTON ROVERS 1.0 4.3 6.4 12.8 (80)
ST BERNARDS 5.6 7.9 11.18 14.23 (107)
Goals: D. Gribbin 4, K. Pinto 2, R. White 2, M. Lawrence 2, R. Semmel, J. Verlin.
Best: J. Zampaglione, L. De Boer, L. Fletcher, G. Carr, D. Gribbin, R. White.
VAFA B Section Round 2 Summary
OLD CAREY def. by ORMOND (12.10-82 14.15-99)
OLD CAMBERWELL def. by OLD HAILEYBURY (14.3-87 17.19-121)
OLD TRINITY def. by OLD MELBURNIANS (12.14-86 16.9-105)
UNI BLACKS def. by ST KEVINS (9.9-63 11.16-82)
ST BERNARDS def. HAMPTON ROVERS (14.23-107 12.8-80)