Hampton Rovers defeated arch rivals Ormond by 20 points at Boss James Reserve on Saturday to retain the Buxton Cup and remain undefeated in 2014.
A moving ANZAC Day service was held prior to the main game with both sides lined up as 92 year old veteran, Charlie Dimach, read the Ode to Remembrance and 11-year-old Lachy Briggs played the Last Post in front of a large crowd. The club would like to thank Bill Mirabito and the Hampton RSL for organising the pre-game service.
There was another solid attendance at the President’s Luncheon with the new club caterers maintaining the high-quality set over many years and while that was happening, the Reserves recorded their first victory of the year with a dominant 33-point win.
Both Hampton and Ormond sides looked remarkably different from last year’s Grand Final. The Rovers had several changes going into the round three clash, including one change on Saturday morning due to injury. This was especially evident up front, where the only remaining player from last round was Ed Turner who finished the day with five majors.
Of those coming in to the side, a standout on the day was Nick Taylor who shared ruck duties with Jack Wilson. In the third quarter he stepped up and took about six marks roaming from one end of the ground to the other. In the last, he took a big mark in the square to slot the winning goal which was one of the highlight of the day.
Sam Clements came into the side for the first time since injuring his ankle against Ormond last year and while he was slow to start and get back into the rhythm of the game, he had a great last quarter, kicking two goals. Other inclusions were first-gamer Nigel Bloomfield and Mat Care who worked hard all day.
Coach Guy Martyn stressed at each break, the winner on the day would be the team that worked the hardest and for three quarters, the Rovers had their hardest contest in some time.
While Hampton were doing it comfortably in the second term, three late goals to the visitors brought the margin back to just four points and the first two goals of the second half had Ormond up by nine points. It was a tough struggle in the premiership term with everyone giving it their all and at the final break, it was the Rovers hanging onto a one goal lead.
Marto urged his chargers for greater commitment and that was shown in the final quarter. While Ormond kicked the opening goal and temporarily regained the lead, Hampton responded kicking the next four unanswered and effectively sealing the game. The telling statistic was that in the final quarter, the Rovers exceeded the tackle count for the previous three quarters.
Ed Turner was awarded the Russell Barnes Medal for best on ground. His five goals included two classics in the final term. Captain Leigh Fletcher was near his best and kicked a telling goal on the run from 50 metres in the third term.
The back six were again strong with young Ben Traeger-Haig improving with every game. Despite taking a few hits from the opposition, he kept on getting up and controlling play and was ably supported by Jay Dillon.
Josh McPherson and Kyle Pinto controlled their wings all day and some of the elusiveness displayed by them both left their opponents bamboozled. Shem Curry, coming off his fine performance from last round, started the game in great fashion with a goal from his first kick but faded. Relocation for work means he’ll be unavailable for the remainder of the season and the club wishes him well.
Next week, the Rovers face PEGS (formerly Old Essendon) out at the Penleigh & Essendon Grammar Playing Fields in Keilor Park.
HAMPTON ROVERS 3.5 6.7 9.12 14.16 (100)
ORMOND 2.1 6.3 9.6 12.8 (80)
Goal Kickers: E. Turner 5, S. Clements 2, L. Fletcher 2, N. Taylor 2, J. McPherson , S. Curry , D. Morton
Best Players: J. Lovig, L. Fletcher, M. Devereaux, B. Traeger-Haig, J. McPherson, E. Turner
It was a triple-header at Boss James Reserve with the Under 19s taking on Beaumaris to kick-off proceedings. The boys were confident of a good showing against their local rivals but struggled to get into the game. Accuracy in front of goal was a concern with the Rovers kicking 5.15 and going down by 38 points.
Notwithstanding a disappointing loss, there were some bright spots for the Rovers. Luke Morcom was terrific in the centre and the first goal came from him receiving the tap in the centre square, ran through to 50m and popped through a long goal to get Hampton on the board. At the other end of the ground, Jack Stewart was dominant in defence and clearly outpointed his opponent. Lachy Cairns had a great day and seemed to bob up all around the ground. The highlight of the day was no doubt the hanger taken by Cam Jones in the final quarter in front of the social rooms.
The Thirds took on Parkdale Vultures away at 9:20am and by all reports were unlucky with a wind change meaning they kicked against it for three quarters. Jack Lloyd was best for the Rovers as they went down to the Vultures by 51 points.