Hampton Rovers gave everything they had on Saturday and produced a great performance, but went down to the undefeated St Kevin’s by 20 points at Boss James Reserve.
The ladder-leaders were restricted to their lowest score of the season and it wasn’t until half way through the last that the visitors looked certain to claim a victory.
It was a big day at the club with the 1995 Premiership reunion lunch held prior to the game and the players who broke through with that famous drought-breaking win 20 years ago were present in the rooms as Guy Martyn gave his final instructions to the side.
There was a reasonably strong wind favouring the David Street end and Hampton were against it in the first term. The Rovers applied great pressure and it was only St Kevin’s third goal after the quarter time siren that increased their lead to 20 points at the first break. It was their lowest-scoring first quarter of the season.
Goals to Ed Turner, Ned Fallon and Nath Smith won the second quarter for the Rovers, kicking three to one, to reduce the margin to 11 points at half time. The players and coaching staff were full of belief during the break and Marto wanted more of the same in the second half.
SKOBS kicked the first of the third after nine minutes, a set-shot from the goal square following a mark awarded that clearly hit the ground first. But they were struggling to make any impact on the scoreboard with the Rovers defending well, restricting the visitor’s usual game plan and they struggled to adapt, spraying several shots on goal under pressure while. Sam Bradford kicked the Rovers first into the wind late in the term, and that was the extent of the scoring for both sides. At three-quarter time, the Rovers trailed by 14 points and had the wind advantage in the last. The noise coming from the opposing huddle suggested all wasn’t rosy for the ladder-leaders.
Could the Rovers spring an upset? The ball entered the 50 and Nick Jewell collected it, dodged the opposition and snapped a goal early in the last to give Hampton the momentum however after several missed opportunities, the visitors kicked the next two goals to give what looked like a match-winning lead considering the low scoring. A late goal to Ed Turner reduced it somewhat, but in the end it was St Kevin’s maintaining their unbeaten run in Premier B in 2015 after 13 rounds.
Daniel Corp was Hampton’s best and was well supported by Mark Devereaux and Leigh Fletcher. Ed Turner was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors.
Granted, St Kevin’s were missing some of their stars, but the Rovers also have several of their best missing that starred in the first half of the season. All in all, it was a superb performance by the boys and a similar effort in the remaining five games will ensure an excellent end to the season in Premier B. Next week the Rovers face bottom side Caulfield Grammarians, followed by Fitzroy with both games away before returning to Boss James to take on Old Melburnians.
HAMPTON ROVERS 0.1 3.3 4.4 6.7 (43)
ST KEVIN’S OLD BOYS 3.3 4.8 5.12 7.21 (63)
Goal Kickers: E. Turner 2, S. Bradford, N. Smith, N. Jewell, N. Fallon
Best Players: D. Corp, M. Devereaux, L. Fletcher, S. Clements, A. Spencer, A. McNeil
The Reserves were totally outclassed by a St Kevin’s side that would be capable of beating some senior sides while the Thirds received a forfeit after Old Ivanhoe pulled out from Saturday’s match.
The Under 19s took on first-placed Old Geelong at Como Park, going down by 42 points. Jack Zaina kicked 4 goals while Ryan Fogarty, Darcy Merlo and Will Jackson were best for the Rovers.