Rovers too slick for West Brunswick

Hampton Rovers travelled to Royal Park on Saturday to face West Brunswick and while the home side battled hard in the opening 10 minutes, the Rovers soon took control of the game and ran out big 149-point winners.

The Westies had the first four scoring shots, resulting in four behinds, and that for the afternoon was the end of the resistance. The Rovers then kicked five goals five and another five goals six in the second term to the home side’s one goal seven, to go into half time with a 58-point advantage.

The Brunswick boys didn’t roll over in the first half, they put Hampton under pressure, hassled Christian Carnovale at every stoppage, frustrated Jesse Donald and smashed Danny Corp at every opportunity, but all to no avail as others just kept bobbing up to kick the goals.  First gamers for 2018, Corey Jones (who in a sensational debut performance kicked four majors to half time) and Ant Folino in his 32nd and clearly best game for the club, kicked a lazy five from the midfield, stepped up and our fears of the effect of the loss of Mat Rienerts and Oscar Roberts who kicked eight between them last week, was soon forgotten.

It was hard and tough in that first half and some players just enjoy those conditions.  Sam Clements at one stage crashed and bashed into four opponents in succession in pursuit of the loose ball.  You could see the Westies thinking about a few short steps.  Similarly, Danny Corp at full forward, at a different level to the opposition, just kept turning them inside out, baulking and creaming them on the lead with apparent ease.  He kicked four for the day in a tantalizing display of what he could do when fully fit.

The game was blown apart in the third term, with the Rovers most devastating quarter for the year, kicking 13 goals five to put the opposition into therapy.  With Josh McPherson and Ant Folino kicking four and three goals respectively, it was a picnic for the boys.  Corpy came in for a couple and a host of others lit up the scoreboard.  Josh Broadley was continuing his great form in the ruck, Shem Curry was going hard in the midfield and keeping up his 100% disposal accuracy, Ant Folino and Adam Schaeche in the midfield were on top as we buried the Brunswick boys.  Rich Atkins dragged down a couple of screamers, Treags and Lachy Cairns were waxing between half back and the wing and we were hot.  It’s great having those target forward of the centre with Cam Hetherington, Corey Jones and Rich Atkins always presenting.

“They’re a pretty physical side and it wasn’t easy early on,” Rovers coach Anthony Quon told the Bayside Leader.

“It was actually good because we needed the hitout. We’re still pretty young and our average age is only 21 so we needed a few bigger bodies and older guys to probably knock them around a little bit.

“The fact that they concentrated on the ball, bounced back and controlled the game was very pleasing.”

Josh McPherson finished with seven goals while Ant Folino kicked five in his first senior appearance of the season. Corey Jones had four goals in his senior debut and Danny Corp also managed four for the day. Harry Crisp was named best for the Rovers but it really was an old fashioned whole-team performance by all 22 players.

The win sees the Rovers percentage grow to a mammoth 427% – the highest of any senior VAFA team. The next four rounds will see matches against stronger opposition and present more of a test for Hampton, starting with Therry Penola at Boss James Reserve this Saturday.

HAMPTON ROVERS  5.5  10.11  23.16  28.16 (184)
WEST BRUNSWICK  0.5  1.7  3.8  4.11 (35)
Goal Kickers: J. McPherson 7, A. Folino 5, C. Jones 4, D. Corp 4, S. Ebbott, C. Hetherington, L. Cairns, C. Carnovale, R. Atkins, S. Clements, S. Curry, J. Broadley
Best Players: H. Crisp, C. Hetherington, C. Jones, J. Prosser, J. McPherson, D. Corp

Watch the full match replay >

The Reserves had a strong second half to run over the top of West Brunswick and claim a 17-point win.

The Thirds led early but it was Monash who finished the better team, snatching a three-point win at Boss James Reserve. The U19s went down to Old Brighton by 20 points. The Senior Women fell to Old Mentonians by 39 points at Castlefield.

Book your spot now for this Saturday Hampton Rovers Ladies Day Luncheon at Boss James Reserve. The biggest Luncheon of 2018, raising funds for Brainwave. See details & book your spot here >

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