Hampton Rovers held Old Camberwell scoreless in the final term to win by 26 points at Boss James Reserve on Saturday, holding on to third position on the Premier C ladder.
With a number of key players missing from the line-up and seven changes from the side that demolished Banyule, it was a danger game for Hampton against the fifth-placed Wellers, but the Rovers came out firing and Ed Turner kicked the first goal in the opening minute.
Each of the first three quarters followed a similar pattern with the Rovers holding onto a slender lead before the visitors fought back late. Scores were all-square at quarter time and at the main break.
Hampton got out to a 16 point mid-way through the third quarter – a game-high at that stage. Not to be outdone, the visitors fought back and they kicked a goal as the three-quarter siren sounded to snatch a four-point lead.
It was great to see the younger players making an impact – first gamer Tim Jones featured in the best with some ferocious tackling and chasing coupled with some skilful finishing. Nick Taylor carried the ruck for most of the day with Jack Wilson out and Charlie Kelso unavailable, and was instrumental in Hampton dominating the centre clearances. Ben Traeger-Haig did a fine job in cutting the Wellers key forward out of the game while both McNeil’s put in strong performances and the younger, Kyal, in the coach’s words, was not beaten in a one-on-one contest all day.
Everything to play for in the final term. Rovers trailing by 4pts pic.twitter.com/traaCJJcmK
— Hampton Rovers FC (@HRAFC) June 14, 2014
It was all to play for in the last and as dark clouds came overhead and the lights came on, the Rovers were down to two on the bench. The home side found another gear however and managed to keep Old Camberwell scoreless while kicking four majors plus numerous missed opportunities as the good crowd in attendance celebrated Hampton’s sixth victory of the season at the mid-way point.
Coach Guy Martyn labelled it a season-defining victory. A loss would have put the Rovers back in the pack in what’s an even competition, but victory ensured equal-second position with Monash Blues and PEGS and just one win behind Marcellin.
Leigh Fletcher had his best game of the year with the captain dominating around the ground and kicking two great goals, Mark Devereaux was in everything and, as the game progressed, the number of his centre clearances just kept mounting, while Rory Lynch, one of our key backs, continued on his good form from last round and totally dominated his Camberwell opponent.
Ed Turner kicked another five majors taking his tally to 29 for the season to lead the goal kicking in Premier C section.
Hampton now has two away games – both local rivalries, next week against Ormond at EE Gunn Reserve and Parkdale Vultures the following at Gerry Green Reserve.
HAMPTON ROVERS 2.6 4.9 8.12 12.17 (89)
OLD CAMBERWELL 2.6 4.9 8.15 8.15 (63)
Goal Kickers: E. Turner 5, L. Fletcher 2, M. Care, T. Jones, R. Atkins, J. Pavlou, J. Donald
Best Players: L. Fletcher, J. Lovig, M. Care, T. Jones, M. Devereaux, R. Lynch
It was a big day at Boss James Reserve with the club celebrating the reunions of three premierships – 2004 Reserves, 1999 Under 19s and 1984 Reserves. There were over 70 people at the lunch with good representation from all three sides. It was great to see so many faces back at the club – some for the first time in a while
The Reserves started poorly and at half time had only kicked one goal, trailing by 23 points. However in the second half they turned it around with an even third quarter before kicking five in the final term to take a three-point lead with a few minutes remaining. The Rovers couldn’t hold on though, with Old Camberwell kicking a goal late to claim a four-point victory. Steve Anderson and Paul Adams were best for the Rovers while Matt Broadley and Brendan Culvenor kicked two goals each.
The Thirds got the day off to a great start, defeating Marcellin by 20 points for their second win of the season. The Rovers had the quality inclusions of Liam Woodland and Michael Flahive returning from injury in which after the game he announced was his last. Amongst the best were Will Lingard, Liam Dynon and Liam Woodland. View the full match report here >
The Under 19s were outclassed by Ormond away at EE Gunn Reserve. Playing the top of the table side two rounds in a row proved too difficult, going down by 83 points. Campbell Jones kicked four goals with Josh Elston, Jack Zaina and Jack Stewart best for Hampton.