Hampton Rovers won the 2015 SMJFL U16 Division 1 Premiership on Sunday in one of the most dramatic finishes to a Grand Final ever seen for the club.
Having tasted the ultimate in 2014, the question would be how hungry the boys would be in 2015. With many new faces joining the list via the trade table from East Sandy, the lads formed a bond that was all inclusive. Ash and Lou led from the front always and the folk law of what unfolded at Mentone Grammar on Sunday had many in tears, many asking if they were dreaming the impossible dream (the coach included).
With 30 lads taking the field, the rotations needed to be precise, every lad would play a part, Ash’s vision was one of fair play for all, something many clubs/teams sadly overlook in these situations.
The Rovers had dominated play for the first half but with errant kicking, left the door ajar for East Malvern to have one last crack and that they did in the last quarter. Unable to put the game beyond doubt, Ash called for a united effort in the last, what happened next was one of the best performances many at the ground that day have ever seen.
The Knights owned the scoreboard for the first time all day, leading by one point with less than two minutes to go. They went forward again and momentum was wearing red, white and blue; some desperate defence saw the Rovers mount one last assault, a string of handballs and a long kick ended in a rushed behind which saw the clock with 27 seconds remaining. A great mark at half forward by Will Walker saw the young Rovers belt it forward one last time.
Enter Oscar Roberts, with approximately 1500 people baring witness, Oscar flew into the sky showing courage and complete commitment to his mates and took a classic mark that was befitting the phrase, “Cometh the time Cometh the Man”.
It is every boys dream to kick a match winner after the siren, let alone a Grand Final. It takes a special young man to face the fear of not living the dream, not everyone is up for the task.
The siren sounded and the premiership rested on the young man’s shoulders, 40 metres out on a 45 degree angle, he had kicked 3 already so he knew his form was good.
The crowd took a deep breath and Oscar’s trusty left boot let rip, the Sherrin was home, the split second it left the size 15 Nike, THE ICE MAN HAD DELIVERED, the crowd ran at 30 young Rovers who had all deserved their back-to-back victory!
Coach Ash Roberts had just seen his side once more win the prize and seen his son, send the crowd into a frenzy…
Beside The Seaside, Beside The Sea..
HAMPTON ROVERS 2.3 3.8 5.12 7.14 (56)
EAST MALVERN 1.3 2.4 4.5 7.9 (51)
Goal Kickers: O. Roberts 4, W. Walker 2, J. Mangoni