Hampton Rovers went into the round eight clash at Mentone Reserve with confidence, but it was the third-placed St Bedes/Mentone Tigers who proved stronger, winning by 33 points.
The Rovers had five changes going into the game plus a late change with Mat Care forced out. In came Martyn, Turner, Nick Pavlou and Lloyd the late call-up. Roland De Biase made his senior debut and the big news was around former Swan & Saint, and current Sandringham Zebras captain, Trent Dennis-Lane who played his first game in the VAFA and for the club.
Hampton started well, with Ed Turner who had a stand-out performance in the Reserves last week, kicking the first major of the game and Marto followed up to extend the Rovers lead. The home side got one back and it was all square at 13 a piece at quarter time.
Goals through Ant Folino, TDL and Bradford kept pressure on the Tigers and the Rovers were playing good footy. At half time, Hampton held a lead of three points.
On a funny day weather-wise, the temperature dropped in the second half, a bit of rain came, and the centre square was muddy. Nick Pavlou kicked the first of the third term, but from there, it was all the home side and while the Rovers had multiple opportunities, they couldn’t convert, kicking a further six behinds and missing a few sitters. The home side also had their opportunities, but they managed four goals to take a 16 point lead into the final term.
St Bedes/Mentone kicked the first two before Ed Turner responded for the Rovers. A second goal to TDL reduced the deficit to 18 points, but from there, the home side who play their ground so well, kicked a few goals to seal the win.
Roland De Biase who joined the club last week from St Kevins, in his senior debut, was best on ground for the Rovers, in the middle of the action and showing his strength on multiple occasions. Leigh Fletcher continued his good form, Dennis-Lane showed his class, James Prosser had a good game, while Carnovale was superb as always and Bradford got plenty of the ball.
Perhaps a downfall of the Rovers was the fact Nath Smith and Daniel Corp, the Rovers two leading goal kickers, failed to get on the scorers sheet for the day. Leading the way was Turner and TDL with two each, while Bradford, Folino, Martyn and Nick Pavlou kicked singles.
Next week, the Rovers face second-placed Old Scotch at Boss James Reserve, who today went down to Beaumaris by eight goals.
HAMPTON ROVERS 2.1 5.4 6.10 8.12 (60)
ST BEDES/MENTONE 1.7 4.7 8.14 12.21 (93)
Goal Kickers: T. Dennis-Lane 2, E. Turner 2, G. Martyn, S. Bradford, N. Pavlou, A. Folino
Best Players: R. De Biase, L. Fletcher, T. Dennis-Lane, J. Prosser, C. Carnovale, S. Bradford
The Reserves were outclassed by a superior SBMT side, while the Reserves were undermanned and went down to Mazenod, also away from home.
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