Hampton Rovers recorded a gutsy one-point victory over Banyule in what was an exciting finish away at Heidelberg on Saturday.
The Rovers made a slow start in cold but fine conditions at a muddy Brockwell Oval in Heidelberg, trailing by 22 points at quarter time. Hampton lost Kyle Pinto early in the match and were down to three on the bench. The boys finished off the second term playing better footy and reduced the deficit to seven points at the main break.
Bottom-placed Banyule were playing better footy than their ladder position suggested and after defeating Peninsula Old Boys the previous week, were looking to produce an upset.
Hampton finally regained the lead half way through the third term but couldn’t go on with it and at the final break, were down on the scoreboard by two goals.
In the last quarter, the Rovers twice reduced the margin to five points but it wasn’t until the 25-minute mark that a big goal from Sam Clements put the Rovers in front. With the last quarter stretching well beyond on the previous three, several minutes past and the home side managed to regain the lead and looked to have sealed the win.
However there was enough time for Sam Clements to kick the ball towards the Rovers goal square where Josh Verlin was waiting. He dropped the mark but managed to turn around and kick the ball off the ground for a Rovers goal to hit the front once more. Banyule got the ball deep in their forward line but Hampton held on to secure four valuable points away from home.
Mat Care and Ed Turner finished the game with three goals each while Jesse Lovig and Adam McNeil were amongst the best players.
Next week is a critical game in the context of the season when the Rovers host Monash Blues at Boss James Reserve. Both sides are equal-second on the ladder and the winner should secure a valuable top-two finish and double chance in the finals series.
HAMPTON ROVERS 1.2 6.8 8.10 13.12 (90)
BANYULE 4.6 7.9 10.10 13.11 (89)
Goal Kickers: M. Care 3, E. Turner 3, J. Donald 2, C. Sharp 2, S. Clements, J. Verlin, S. Burggraaff
Best Players: J. Lovig, A. McNeil, M. Care, S. Clements, J. Verlin
The Reserves recorded a big 61-point victory over the Bears in the early game. After holding an 11-point lead at the main break, the Rovers stepped up a gear in the second half, kicking 13 goals to four. Cain Malthouse and Chris Long each kicked three goals while Nigel Bloomfield, Lachlan DeLisle and Tom Youl were best for the Rovers.
68 point win for the Ressies over Banyule pic.twitter.com/xEEblUdoDZ
— Hampton Rovers FC (@HRAFC) August 2, 2014
The Thirds took on PEGS at Boss James Reserve and were undermanned due to injuries and unavailability with only 15 players taking to the field. They tried hard but were no match. Vincent Camera, William Wright and Ben Woodland were best players for the Rovers.
The Under 19s winning streak continues, defeating Peninsula Old Boys by 21 points at Mornington. It was the Rovers sixth-straight victory and with Beaumaris losing, now find themselves in the top four with three rounds remaining. Cam Jones, Mackie Robertson and Sam Care kicked two goals each. Best for Hampton were Robertson, Jack Daley and David Broadstock.