In great conditions at Boss James, it was a rough affair for the first eight minutes as each side laid many tackles and created plenty of errors. Finally, Brunswick managed a goal with one of their few forays forward at the 10 minute mark. But the Rovers immediately responded with a great centre bounce clearance which ended with a chest mark to Duddy who goaled with less than a minute passing by. Brunswick then responded well, getting the ball forward several times but Rick Jones in the last line showed plenty of dash repeatedly clearing the balls with a couple of long runs. The Rovers were soon pounding the goals but point after point resulted with some touched on the goal line. In one memorable moment, the Chief chased down his opponent like thundering death (no relation to whispering death) and caused a turnover but alas only another point resulted. Merlo was productive across the wing while Stewart was lively in the forward line. Merlo managed to break clear into the deep right pocket and after a good couple of evasive turns and a dummy dribbled the Rovers second goal. Overall the Rovers had most of the play but delivery into the forward line was average to poor resulting in wasted opportunities. The Rovers lead by 10 points at the first break.
The 2nd Quarter started pretty much like the first. Rovers had their opportunities but couldn’t convert. Jacko had swapped his 10 goal golden boots from last week to old school black boots and was missing the big sticks – bring back the golden boots they were crying! Again, Brunswick scored an opportunistic goal after 14 mins to narrow the lead but immediately the Rovers responded from the centre with Vella on the receiving end of a good pass from Hemsley. Soon after Stewart roved a beautiful knock forward from the Chief from a pack contest and banged thru the second Rovers goal. Ben Clark showed plenty around the ground and thru the middle. Despite having 75% of the play the Rovers had failed to bury the NOBS. Tate – as always solid in defence. Rovers extended the margin at the main break to lead 35-16.
Again, the quarter opened slowly for scoring shots. The Chief managed to get one out with his opponent and with a twist and turn only the Queen Mary could make bigger he jagged a goal from the top of the goal square. Soon after Bright in a tight congested space found enough daylight to put a clever pass to Jacko 25m out from goal. Finally, the new boots came good. Better players for the quarter were Zac Donald, Joel Melnjak and Culvenor who were all lively and had plenty of possessions. Again, the Rovers were overall wasteful (the Rovers had kicked as many behinds as the NOBS total score!) but well done to the Rovers backs and midfields who kept the NOBS scoreless for the quarter. Zaina & Jewell especially good across the middle and giving drive forward. At the final break, the Rovers held a 52-16 lead.
As both sides tired a little, the scoring freed up a little. Jacko scored his second within 5 minutes and shortly after Culvenor scored a goal on the run from the forward pocket to cap off a good day. Stewart was again lively and picking up a loose ball near the boundary line forward put on the after burners to sprint clear and kick one through near the goal line. He was immediately sent to the interchange bench. What are the coaches thinking! Anyhow, within a minute his replacement Hemsley did exactly the same move for another goal on the line. So that’s what Coaches think! With the game in the bag they pulled a few moves and Rick Jones was released into the forward line where he gathered a loose ball in the pocket – he looked up and saw Chief coming at him and a Brunswick player – sensibly he chose to crash into the Brunswick player and so survived with his life but a massive headache instead. Brunswick kicked a couple of late goals while the Chief was on the end of a string of handballs in the goal square to kick his second. Zach Donald was again getting plenty of the ball for the quarter.
HAMPTON ROVERS 2.7 4.11 6.17 11.21 (87)
BRUNSWICK 1.3 2.4 2.4 4.6 (30)
Goal Kickers: M. Fletcher 2, N. Jackson 2, T. Stewart 2, D. Merlo, D. Vella, B. Culvenor, A. Duddy, J. Hemsley
Best Players: B. Culvenor, J. Melnjak, M. Fletcher, D. Merlo, N. Jewell, J. Zaina
Thanks to Jennie and Al Jones for the match report and to Steve Anderson for umpiring, Ken Duddy as Team Manager, Nick Anderson for timekeeping, Tim Jones for goal umpiring and Daniel Andersen as the runner.