Hampton Rovers turned around a ten goal defeat earlier in the season to defeat PEGS by 43 points at Boss James Reserve on Saturday to just about cement a second-consecutive finals appearance.
Sandringham Zebras captain Adam Cockie made his Rovers debut and was a real leader out on the field. Kelso’s taps to Cockie for a clearance was a common trend as the Rovers controlled the game to run out comfortable winners and record their 10th win of the season.
Hampton had an opportunity in the opening 30 seconds to kick the first of the game as Devereaux cleared the ball out of the centre and Verlin took a strong mark. However he couldn’t convert and the home side had all the play but couldn’t convert. The first goal of the game didn’t come until the 15 minute mark and it was the former Eagles player who kicked truly from a set shot. Verlin followed with a goal soon after before a string of behinds and a Kyle Pinto major to have the Rovers up by 22 points at the first break.
The Rovers had to do it tough with three injuries reducing the home side to just the one rotation off the bench by the time the quarter time siren sounded. Despite this, Hampton were never really troubled in the wet conditions.
Stuart Burggraaff in his first game back after eight weeks on the sidelines kicked the first two goals of the second term. He finished the game with three in a best on ground performance.
PEGS kicked there first goal of the game in the ten minute mark of the second term but the Rovers responded with goals through Kyle Pinto, Josh McPherson and Ed Turner with a snap some 40 metres out.
The Rovers backs were holding firm. The spoiling by Jesse Lovig and Rory Lynch kept the PEGS forwards out of the game. One goal in a half of football was a great result and a 44-point lead at the main break in the wet conditions was effectively game over.
The second half was a hard slog. The visitors just outscored the Rovers but they had less shots on goal. A couple of goals early on in the third reduced the margin somewhat but then in a blistering three minutes, Hampton produced goals through Kyle Pinto, Cam Sharp and Stuart Burggraaff. Josh McPherson could have had the play of the day with a 40 metre sprint, chased by two opponents who collided and fell, he gathered the ball, baulked the oncoming defender, outsprinted him, went left, had a bounce but by that stage had ran out of gas and missed what would have been one of the goals of the year.
The boys were exhausted at the final break playing with only one on the bench and while the visitors kicked the first three of the last, a great pass from Nathan Smith to Ed Turner for a goal gave the Rovers a 43-point victory.
The win maintains Hampton’s third position on the Premier C ladder, equal with second-placed Monash with the sides set to meet each other in two weeks’ time. Marcellin are top, one game ahead, while there’s now a two game gap to fourth-placed PEGS. Next week the Rovers face Banyule away.
HAMPTON ROVERS 3.5 8.7 12.7 13.13 (91)
PEGS FC 0.1 1.3 4.6 7.6 (48)
Goal Kickers: S. Burggraaff 3, K. Pinto 3, N. Smith 2, J. Verlin, E. Turner, J. McPherson, C. Sharp, A. Cockie
Best Players: S. Burggraaff, K. Pinto, N. Smith, J. McPherson, J. Lovig, R. Atkins
It was a big day at Boss James Reserve with luncheon recognising the partnership with the Sandringham Football Club. The Zebras President Danny Corcoran and senior coach Simon McPhee both spoke to the more than 100 people in attendance while former Rovers and Zebras player Heath Tregear talked about his experience at both clubs. It was also great to see earlier in the day, much of the senior playing group running the Auskick program.
The Reserves were outplayed by the ladder-leaders PEGS, going down by 24 points in the early game. Lloyd, Donald and Massie were best for the Rovers.
Elsewhere, the Under 19s recorded a big 153-point win over an undermanned Collegians side. That’s five-straight wins for the young Rovers as they charge towards the finals. Campbell Jones booted seven goals and Joel Emmins four while Corey Jones was named best on ground.