Hampton Rovers have made a winning start to the second half of the season, running out 55-point victors over Kew at Victoria Park.
Winter has well and truly arrived and the conditions were freezing as a young Rovers outfit took more and more control of the game as it progressed. Great to see the players in special Fight MND socks in support of Sockit2MND Round.
The Rovers side saw a number of changes following the bye weekend and three players made their senior debut for the club – Miles Bergman, Joel Melnjak and Callum Tate, with all three playing well, featuring in the best and not looking out of place. Richard Atkins was a welcome addition, returning from a couple of weeks off, as was captain Christian Carnovale following his call-up to the Sandringham Zebras where he made his VFL debut.
The home side kicked the opening goal of the game but that would be their only major of the first term as the Rovers kicked three. Again, the lack of accuracy in front of goal was a concern with Hampton managing seven behinds in the first and 20 for the game. 37 scoring shots to Kew’s 17 indicated Hampton’s dominance and the margin certainly should have been more.
The Rovers unfortunately lost Luke Deville in the first half to another sickening head injury and the club wishes him well in his recovery.
A 26-point advantage at the main break was comfortable enough but the boys still had plenty of work to do in the second half to lock in the four points. James Prosser had his best game in the green & gold and was named best on and as well as the three debutants, Adam McNeil put in another solid performance while Josh Broadley continued his rise in the ruck.
A six goal to three third term set up a 50-point lead at the final change and the game was in the bag. Four goals to three in the last sealed a solid victory as the Rovers returned to the winners list and remain on top of the table.
Josh McPherson, Richard Atkins, Adam McNeil and Sam Clements in his 100th game each kicked three goals while Ant Folino was the other multiple with two majors.
Next up, the Rovers face bottom side Ivanhoe at Boss James Reserve on Saturday. It’s the 1998 senior premiership reunion and bookings for the luncheon are now being taken.
HAMPTON ROVERS 3.7 7.12 13.16 17.20 (122)
KEW 1.1 4.4 7.4 10.7 (67)
Goal Kickers: J. McPherson 3, R. Atkins 3, S. Clements 3, A. McNeil 3, A. Folino 2, M. Bergman, B. Kneebush, C. Jones
Best Players: J. Prosser, M. Bergman, C. Tate, J. Melnjak, A. McNeil, J. Broadley
Thanks to the Trainers, Billy Campbell and Max Grimmer for doing the stats, Kam Atkins for timekeeping, Lachie Wheeler for boundary umpiring, Nick Jackson for running water, and Oscar Roberts for Runner duties. Volunteers are the backbone of the club and we appreciate the support.
In the early game, the Rovers Reserves had a shocker, with a relatively weak team going down to Kew by nine points. Accuracy in front of goal cost the Rovers, kicking 10.19 and having 11 more scoring shots than the opposition. Kew, with some help, finished the game well as the match finished in controversial circumstances. One to forget and move on to next week with the Rovers remaining in top spot on the ladder.
Thanks to Ken Duddy for timekeeping, Neil Jackson for goal umpiring and Zac Pirrie for Runner duties.
The Thirds took on top placed Monash Blues at Monash Clayton with an early 9am start. The Rovers went down by 55 points and in the process dropping from second spot to fourth. Adam Power kicked four while Harrison McIntyre was named best.
The Under 19s recorded a solid 50-point win over Monash Blues at Boss James Reserve. Jack Rayner kicked four goals while Jack Garrow, Scott Ebbott and Craig Clarke were best for the Rovers. Thanks to Zac Watson for boundary umpiring, Roz Folino for Team Manager duties, Darcy Neate for runner duties, and Stan Oldfield for timekeeping.
Earlier at the Boss, the Senior Women took on top side Old Scotch and weren’t up to their standard but still had a good run and enjoyable game.