Hampton Rovers went down to St Bedes/Mentone in the final home game of the season at the Boss on Saturday, while the U19s had a great win over Old Brighton.
It was a big day at Boss James Reserve with a triple-header and sold-out final luncheon of the year with 120+ in attendance.
Against a side guaranteed to finish top-two, it was always going to be a difficult task for the bottom-placed Rovers, and that was made tougher when Premier B leading goal-kicker leading into round 17, Nathan Smith, withdrew from the side due to injury.
The Tigers are on a mission to return to the top division and they showed that Saturday. It was the quick ball movement, accurate kicking and run that let the visitors get away from the Rovers. U19 player Daniel Terjung playing his first senior game kicked Hampton’s only major. After a relatively close first quarter, SBMT banged on seven goals to one in the second to shut Hampton out of the game. As has happened so often this season, it was a 15 minute goal burst by the opposition that put the Rovers on the back foot.
With Benji also missing from the side, Sam Clements stepped up to take the on the ruck duties and he out in his best performance of the year – a great job in the ruck and providing a target up front when resting. Rich Atkins was his at his usual best down back with countless spoils on the Tigers key forward.
The Rovers had kicked just two goals by the main break and the margin was 51 points. The home side came out and played better footy in the third term. Two clever soccer-goals by Ben Kneebush, a free to Carnovale, followed by a bullet-like pass to Corpy for a goal, the usual crash and bash from Roland De Biase out to McNeil who kicked truly and finally a quick pick-up by Zach Donald, to James Prosser, to Sam Bradford who goaled on the run and celebrated in typical fashion. The Rovers outscored St Bedes/Mentone comfortably and showed they could match it with the more fancied opposition.
The last quarter was a letdown, both sides went defensive and goals were few and far between – three to the Tigers while the Rovers remained goalless. Leigh Fletcher had another top game for the Rovers racking up the possessions while Danny Corp in there as usual. Again, it was another young side with nine U19 players in the 22 – a positive for the future of the club.
This week, the Rovers face Old Scotch away at Camberwell Sports Ground in the final round of the season. Following the game we welcome everyone back to Boss James Reserve where we’ll be having a few drinks to close out the season.
HAMPTON ROVERS 1.1 2.5 7.7 7.8 (50)
ST BEDES/MENTONE 3.5 10.8 13.12 16.19 (115)
Goal Kickers: B. Kneebush 2, D. Terjung, S. Bradford, W. Walker, D. Corp, A. McNeil
Best Players: S. Clements, R. Atkins, B. Kneebush, L. Fletcher, Z. Donald, M. Rieniets
The Under 19s recorded a great 36 point victory over local rivals Old Brighton. The win means the Rovers finished the season with three big victories. It also jumped the Rovers ahead of Brighton on the ladder, finishing fifth. Read the full match report >