Hampton Rovers slumped to a disappointing 104-point defeat at the hands of Fitzroy Football Club at Brunswick Street Oval on Saturday.
After showing promise the in the previous two rounds including a big win last week, the Rovers produced a good first term to lead by two points at quarter time, but from that point on it was all the home side.
Two late changes didn’t help Hampton’s cause with Daniel Corp and Jack Toouli forced to withdraw. James Short was pulled from the Reserves mid-game to come up to the Seniors and in the first half the Rovers effectively played with three on the bench. Hill, Clements, Devereaux and Donald were also forced outs for the clash.
Fitzroy began to take control of the game in the second term and took a 23-point lead into the main break following a seven goal to three second quarter.
From there, it was complete dominance in front of the many faithful old Fitzroy fans, kicking seven goals to nothing in the third and eight to two in the last to hand Hampton another big defeat at the old VFL ground. The Rovers only highlight in the last was a great goal by Josh McPherson in which he eluded several opposition players and kicked truly. He finished with two goals, as did Tim Jones and Sam Bradford. Captain Leigh Fletcher was named best for the Rovers.
The disappointment was evident on the face of every player and while the game was a dead rubber, the defeat still clearly hurt. Now the Rovers must face Old Melburnians at Boss James Reserve this week who are gunning for a top-two finish, before facing Ajax also at home and then Parkdale Vultures away to round out the season.
HAMPTON ROVERS 3.2 6.4 6.5 8.8 (56)
FITZROY FC 2.6 9.9 16.13 24.16 (160)
Goal Kickers: J. McPherson 2, T. Jones 2, S. Bradford 2, J. Short, N. Fallon
Best Players: L. Fletcher, S. Bradford, T. Jones, L. Cairns, A. McNeil, N. Fallon
The Reserves also held the lead at quarter time, albeit by a single point, and trailed by two points at half time with both teams kicking just the two goals each. But like the Seniors, struggled in the second half, with the home side kicking eight goals to none to win by 60 points. Stef Constantinou and Wes Kingsford kicked the goals while James Short, Linden Woolley and Jesse Parsons were amongst the best.
The Thirds played their final game of the season and were comprehensively defeated by Collegians at Harry Trott Oval. El Chaar kicked the Rovers only two goals and was best for the Rovers, supported by Liam Dynon, Ben Westhead, Vincent Camera and Matt Hartsuyker. The club thanks coach Mick Freedman for the season along with all the players and helpers and we look forward to further strengthening the Thirds in 2016.
The Under 19s have dropped out of the top four after losing to second-placed Williamstown CYMS at Boss James Reserve on Saturday. The margin at the main break was three points to the visitors, and they proved to be the stronger side in the second half, winning by 24 points. James Massey and Joel Balleggi kicked two each while Jack Zaina, Cam Cullis and David Broadstock were best.
The fourth spot on the ladder has been taken by Ormond, who the 19s face this week at EE Gunn Reserve which is obviously a crucial clash and may decide who takes that final spot in the four. The Rovers then face third-placed Old Carey in the final round of the season.