Blacks hold out fast-finishing Rovers

Despite a 10-goal final quarter, the Rovers still went down to one of the top VAFA Premier B sides University Blacks at Boss James Reserve on Saturday. Final score 18.7.115 to 21.14.140.

For the home side, the damage was already well and truly done by the three quarter time break however things got interesting late in the piece. The blacks showed their class though to hold out the fast-finishing Rovers.

It was perfect conditions for footy at Boss James Reserve and the Rovers were looking forward to the challenge after their large win the previous week over Oakleigh. The Blacks sat second on the ladder going into the game and have always been one of the standout teams going around.

The Rovers fielded an un-changed side from the Round 4 victory. Sitting at two and two, the players were keen to break their duck at home in 2010. The players wore black armbands in memory of club legend Gordon McGregor who passed away Friday morning.

The Rovers started extremely well with a quick centre clearance and a goal to forward Danny Corp in the opening 30 seconds of the game. However from there the visitors had the edge kicking five goals to three in the first. That margin extended to six goals at the main break and over ten goals at three quarter time.

Rovers coach Matty Robbins urged the player to keep their heads up, take a few risks and finish the game strongly. That they did, kicking no less that ten goals for the term. With a little over three minutes remaining in the game, the margin had been reduced from 65 points at the final break to only 18. The home side had the momentum but couldn’t manage another major in the closing stages. A goal to the Blacks after the final siren increased the margin back out to 25 points.

It was a great final term by the Rovers which a number of positives could be taken out of however unfortunately the opening three quarters just weren’t good enough. The win for the visitors lifts them to equal top of the VAFA Premier B ladder with Old Ivanhoe.

Danny Corp finished with five goals while his partner up front Guy Martyn kicked four. Captain Ryan Semmel was also amongst it kicking three himself. Gerrard Woods was invaluable as always down back while on-baller Leigh Fletcher was also a standout for the Rovers.

The Roves follow-up next week with another home game against St Bernards. In Saturday’s other results, Old Carey thrashed St Kevins, Oakleigh snuck over the top of Old Essendon, Melbourne High put in a better performance but still went down to Old Haileybury and Old Ivanhoe lost their first game of the season going down to St Bernards at Essendon.

HAMPTON ROVERS  3.3  5.4  8.6  18.7 (115)
UNIVERSITY BLACKS  5.2  13.5  18.11  21.14 (140)
Goals: D. Corp 5, G. Martyn 4, R. Semmel 3, M. Terech 2, E. Turner , C. Gleeson , T. Curry , K. Pinto.
G. Woods, L. Fletcher, D. Corp, G. Martyn, R. Semmel, K. Pinto.

The Under 19’s had their first win of the season getting up over Old Haileybury by 22 points at Castlefield Reserve. Atkins and Short kicked three goals each while amongst the best for the Rovers were Scott and Hoban. Both the Reserves and Thirds suffered defeats.

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