Hampton Rovers defeated WRFL division one side Albion by 23 points at Sunshine on Saturday in the second practice match of the year.
In warm and breezy conditions at Parsons Reserve, the Rovers started slowly as the home side played all over them, kicking the opening five goals and racing to a commanding 30 point lead. Hampton picked up the intensity late on in the first term, kicking a couple of goals to take something into quarter time.
The Rovers went on to dominate the second quarter, kicking the first seven goals to make it nine unanswered. It was a remarkable turnaround with the Rovers playing some superb footy. They were hard at the footy, strung some quality passages together, and finished well. With 11 scoring shots to three, the Rovers held a 21 point lead at the main break.
The third quarter resulted in just the one goal and that was for Hampton. The home side became frustrated at times and the physicality of the game stepped up a notch, but the Rovers stood up to it and maintained control of the contest.
With a couple of minor injuries and players put on ice in the final term, the Rovers were left with no one on the bench and Albion were finishing the stronger, kicking three goals but the visitors held on, kicking there second of the quarter on the final siren, resulting in a 23 point victory in what was an invaluable contest ahead of the 2015 VAFA Premier B season.
With some 50 players unavailable to make the long trip across town, the Rovers outs from last week including Corp, Ting, McNeil, Clements, Pavlou and Miles, while Smith and Fallon had their first run of the year, as did new recruit Kyle Docherty who had a strong physical presence, took a number of strong marks and kicked three goals.
There were plenty of positives for the Rovers with Devereaux and Fletcher dominant in the midfield, Loving, Lynch and Atkins strong down back as ever and another new player to the club Sam Macgregor continuing his good early form. Another solid hit-out for the boys as the new season fast approaches.
Next Saturday the Rovers face SFL side Mordialloc at Ben Kavanagh Reserve in Mordialloc in what is the final practice match before the real stuff gets underway following the Easter break. Leading competition goal kicker from last year Ed Turner will still be missing as will a few others due to other commitments however a number of players will come back into the side and coach Guy Martyn is expected to play a half.
Unavailability’s meant the Under 19s and Reserved played a combined six-quarter game earlier on and it was a positive result for the Rovers, winning by about five goals with coaches John Cesario and Anthony Quon seeing plenty of positives.
HAMPTON ROVERS 2.2 9.6 10.11 12.11 (83)
ALBION 5.1 6.3 6.4 9.6 (60)
Good hitout for the Rovers today. 23pt win over Albion. Next week it’s Mordialloc at Mordi for the final praccy game pic.twitter.com/VkqHTFiuAu
— Hampton Rovers FC (@HRAFC) March 21, 2015