The Hampton Rovers recorded a memorable win over Old Haileybury, trailing all day and coming from behind to defeat the Bloods by 17 points at Boss James Reserve on Saturday.
Despite the freezing Melbourne conditions, a big crowd was in attendance at David Street and expectations were high for a quality game of B section footy. Gary Carr who was due to play his 150th senior game for the club was forced to pull out on the morning of the game due to a niggling injury. That milestone now must wait at least another week.
The toss didn?t go the way of Matty Lawrence and the visitors had the assistance of the wind in the opening term, worth a few goals towards the David Street end of the ground. With this, Old Haileybury started the stronger of the two, kicking the opening goal and going on to kick five for the term to the Rovers two.
After a promising start, the visitors failed to kick a major in the second with the Rovers kicking another two to reduce the margin to eight points at half time.
The third quarter saw both teams put on four goals four and at the final change the margin remained at eight points. The Rovers knew the wind wouldn?t win them the game and they had to work hard in the final term to get the four points.
The game stepped up a gear in the last and it was a sensational display of local footy. The footy was hotly contested throughout, a great piece of play by the Rovers passing the ball through the middle and resulting in a running Leigh Fletcher goal fired the home team up, however with the clock hitting red time, Old Haileybury still held the lead.
This was until a brilliant goal from Mark Devereaux put the home side in the lead for the first time, sending Rovers supporters into raptures. A freak goal from Luke Dallas immediately followed, who while being held, kicked the ball out of the air behind him and through the big sticks. Ryan Semmell then sealed the win with another good goal.
The final siren was greeted with a loud cheer with the Hampton Rovers getting up by 17 points – the third win of the season for the green and gold and a win that keeps the Rovers in touch. The song was belted out in the rooms afterwards by the boys and you could tell it meant a lot to all involved.
Mark Devereaux was best on for the Rovers, along with Leigh Fletcher, Luke Dallas and Rob Alexander. Luke Dallas and Ryan Semmell kicked three goals each with two to Rory White and singles to Mark Devereaux, Leigh Fletcher, Jason Zampaglione, Rob Alexander, Daniel Gribbin and Matt Lawrence.
The focus now shifts to Round 9 – Rivalry Round of the VAFA season that sees the two district powerhouses of the competition lock horns when the Rovers travel to E.E. Gunn Reserve to take on Ormond. One win separates the two sides on the ladder and its another crucial game for the Rovers.
HAMPTON ROVERS 2.1 4.4 8.8 14.11 (95)
OLD HAILEYBURY 5.3 5.6 9.10 11.12 (78)
Goals: L. Dallas 3, R. Semmel 3, R. White 2, M. Devereaux, L. Fletcher, J. Zampaglione, R. Alexander, D. Gribbin, M. Lawrence
Best: M. Devereaux, L. Fletcher, L. Dallas, R. Alexander, J. Eastman, R. Semmel
It was a big day for the club with the firsts, seconds and thirds all playing at home. The pre-game luncheon was attended by close to 90 people. The Thirds got proceedings underway early in the day but were no match for the undefeated Old Melburnians. Best for the Rovers were Jarred Schafer and Stephen Anderson in his first game back for the club.
The Reserves, like the seniors, also had a quality come from behind win. After being down by four goals at the final change, the Rovers had a six goal to two final term, kicking the winning goal in the last minute to get up by six points. Lachie Wheeler, Matt Law and Jesse Donald were best for the Rovers. Matt Powell kicked 3, Jason Giasoumi and Chris Lamber 2 each.
It was the opposite story for the Under 19s who were leading all day but lost to Ajax by 10 points in the top of the table clash at Albert Park. Click Here to view the U19 report.