Scotch take final round honours

Old Scotch powered to a 73-point win over Hampton Rovers in the final round of the 2016 season at Camberwell Sports Ground on Saturday, bringing down the curtain on the Rovers’ season and Premier B campaign.

The home side, out of Premier section for the first time in 35 years and desperately trying to get back into form ahead of the finals, were back to full strength while the Rovers had a season-high 11 Under 19 eligible players line-up in the 22.

Hampton started the better in the first term with the aid of the breeze, kicking four goals to two to lead by 12 points at quarter time. Goals through Cam Hetherington, Sam Clements, Finn McMaster and Ed Turner had the Rovers looking good. Several misses meant the margin could and should have been greater.

It didn’t take long for Old Scotch to come out of their shell, and in the second term they controlled the play, as they went on an eight-goal to one rampage to take a commanding lead into half time.

Sam Bradford got the goal scoring underway in the third term, his second of three for the day as he led from the front in Nath Smith’s absence. Ed Turner also turned it on with some magic – a snap from the goal line through the middle, the selling of candy not once but twice, but unfortunately just missing, and a mark and goal from a McNeil pass – all within a short period. The Rovers kicked three for the term and at the final break, the margin was just 25 points.

The first three goals to the home side in the last term extinguished any hope of a miracle comeback for the Rovers. Tim Jones kicked a great goal – he effected the perfect spoil, gathered the loose ball, took a bounce and calmly slotted the goal from about 40 out. The Rovers’ other goal in the final term started with great play from De Biase who fended off a couple of Scotch players, kicked to Bradford to dribbled his third. However, the home side finished strongly to put nine on the board and cruise to a commanding victory.

Rich Atkins won the best player award from the opposition – he did a superb job on their VFL player returning from Richmond. Roland De Biase probably played his best game in green & gold with Christian Carnovale also in there doing the heavy work as usual. The old firm in Leigh Fletcher and Adam McNeil had solid hit-outs, while down back, youngsters Zach Donald, James Prosser, Ryan Fogarty and Josh Pavlou battled hard.

So that brings the 2016 home & away season to a close and the Rovers’ current two-year stay in Premier B section, with the club to be relegated to Premier C next year after finishing equal-bottom with Old Haileybury. The top four is made up of Beaumaris, St Bedes/Mentone, Old Scotch and Monash Blues.

Senior coach Owen Lalor spoke to the players following the match and mentioned the many positives from 2016 and an optimistic outlook for the future. Sometimes you need to take a step backwards to go forwards and Owen certainly believes that’s the case with the current crop. To get so much experience into U19 players can only be a good thing for the future of the club. Off the field, 2016 has been as strong as ever and the foundations are already being laid for next year.

HAMPTON ROVERS  4.3  5.3  8.6  10.6 (66)
OLD SCOTCH  2.3  10.10  11.13  20.19 (139)
Goal Kickers: S. Bradford 3, E. Turner 3, S. Clements, F. Garraway-McMaster, C. Hetherington, T. Jones
Best Players: R. Atkins, S. Bradford, F. Garraway-McMaster, R. De Biase, E. Turner, C. Carnovale

The Reserves rounded out a tough 2016 going down to a quality Old Scotch outfit. The home side had only lost one game and had a percentage of around 300 – a daunting task for the undermanned Rovers. It was great to see a few U19s and U17s make the jump and get some senior experience. The highlight was Jesse Rees’ pack mark, while Ned Fallon and Adam Power kicked the goals.

Don’t forget Presentation Night – Thursday 29th September at True South, Beach Rd, Black Rock. Capacity is strictly limited so make sure you purchase your ticket online ASAP. View details >

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