Hampton Rovers recorded a comfortable 39-point win over a determined Brunswick outfit at Alec Gillon Oval on Saturday.
Coach Anthony Quon summed it up pretty well at three quarter time. A long trip out to Brunswick to play one of the bottom sides, a win is expected but a loss could be devastating, particularly as there is now a roadblock of teams in the four or just outside threatening.
Hampton’s run home is hard work – home games against Oakleigh (4th), Prahran Assumption (5th) and away against Preston Bullants (6th) and the final game of the year against Ormond (2nd) at EE Gunn. Three of those sides are in the fight for the fourth spot on the ladder.
Brunswick, bolstered by some young guns after their U19 side forfeited earlier in the day, came out swinging on their home deck. Four goals to one at the 20 minute mark and the Rovers were on the back foot, despite having most of the play, yet the Brunswick boys took advantage of that and three of the four were on the coast to coasts, on the turnover.
Hampton then steadied and when the skipper Christian Carnovale took on two tacklers, shrugged them both off to pass to Sam Clements, who neatly gave it back to him for the banana goal from the boundary. Then, just before the end of the quarter, Dillon Melnjak kicked truly on the run from the 50m line. Brunswick were 9 points up at the first break but weren’t convincing.
The home side could only manage one goal for the second quarter, while the young Rovers peppered the scoreboard. Sam Clements was on fire, helped by great delivery, he kicked three for the term and the wickers had no answer. Great to see the big Chief take a strong mark and goal from 20m. The Rovers held a slender seven-point lead at the main break.
The third term was a tight battle. Both sides scored the same for the quarter but it appeared that the opposition hadn’t taken advantage of the increasing breeze. Clements popped through two more for the quarter and Daniel Corp, having spent the day on the back flank, accepted the pass from Zack Zaina to goal.
Ben Kneebush was putting in another solid display and it was obvious he was enjoying being back at half back where he has played most of his footy. Josh Pavlou, back in after a couple of weeks of enforced holiday, had control on the last line and as the coach pointed out, Liam McCartney continues to grow in confidence as the season progresses.
Matt Rieniets, coming back into form, was threatening and his marking was a feature of his game. Christian Carnovale was on fire and was running around at will driving the Rovers forward. The Brothers, Joel and Dillon Melnjak, both continued their good form of last week.
The coach opted for the “facts of footy” at the final break – there are going to be 28 players vying for 22 spots for finals action, so commitment and dedication to the cause was essential in the final 30 minutes. It worked, in a minute Richard Atkins kicked truly from 50m and then it became the Sam Clements and Daniel Corp show. Sam kicked two more for the quarter to take his tally to seven while Daniel, released from half back, became the alternative target for the mids and ended the quarter with four goals to make it five for the game – a great effort.
In the end, the Rovers ran out 39-point winners against a team that never gave up the fight and were in much better form than when the sides last met. Ormond’s defeat means the Rovers are now one game clear plus percentage on top of the ladder.
HAMPTON ROVERS 3.4 7.6 10.8 17.11 (113)
BRUNSWICK 5.1 6.5 9.7 11.8 (74)
Goal Kickers: S. Clements 7, D. Corp 5, M. Fletcher, C. Carnovale, R. Atkins, D. Melnjak, B. Kneebush
Best Players: S. Clements, D. Corp, L. McCartney, M. Rieniets, R. Atkins, C. Carnovale
A huge win by the Reserves in the early game. The first 15 minutes were absolutely owned by the Rovers with 90% of the play in the forward line. The Rovers had 10 shots at goal for a return of 4 behinds and 6 out of bounds. Some from 15-20 meters directly in front. Brunswick had a few forays forward but the Rover backs did their job and managed to keep them scoreless despite getting it to the goal square a couple of times.
The forwards and mids were all looking for each other and seldom were there selfish shots as they continued to give off or pass to a team mate in a better position. There was a slight breeze against them but it doesn’t explain the results.
Finally, it came to Kyle Pinto to take a set shot and kick determinedly through the ball from 35m out for the first and only goal for the quarter. Rovers led 10-0 at quarter time.
After the short break, the Rovers had the advantage of the slight breeze and again dominated the play but couldn’t finish the job. Another couple of behinds and it looked like a repeat coming up. It wasn’t until the 10-minute mark that the Rovers got going. From the half forward line a nice tap out by Charlie Miles, three handballs out of congestion and a short pass hit KP deep in attack and he had the 2nd for the day. He duly goaled and then the flood gates opened.
Partly due to great forward pressure and midfield dominance, the ball was continually deep in attack. Jesse Donald goaled to add to the total. KP added another. TJ gave his little big brother a clever short pass who had ran the field from half back to receive and he goaled on the run. A minute later TJ popped one through the big sticks himself. Charlie took a strong mark deep forward and he also goaled.
Last goal of the quarter was a welcome back from Zach Donald, who had been busy. 8 goals in 15 minutes of play after the first 35 minutes had only claimed 2 goals. What a turn around. At the main break, the margin had blown out to 66 points, with the home side yet to score.
Much of the steam had gone out of the spectacle after half time. Tim Stewart was an early goaler while TJ got his second. Daley was making his mark and contributing well across the midfield. The Rovers began to back their pace in and were dominating. Clarky had been playing well but copped an errant elbow and was forced from the ground.
The breeze seemed to affect the accuracy again and hence the damage to Brunswick was limited to a further five goals four behinds while they got there first and only goal for the game. KP again added a couple of goals showing his ability to read the play. Hampton led 100-6 at the final change.
The Rovers started really well in the last quarter, with early goals to Rick Jones and KP. The backmen decided to get in on the action and were lining up for shots at goal as well but Jewelly proved he really was a backman, missing all the posts. Timmons added a goal from a good mark while Junior added to the tally not long after. Again some errant kicking by the Rovers with seven behinds (five goals) limiting the damage to the home side.
Notable mentions to the backs led by Lynch and Ballard who kept Brunswick to a single goal and behind for the match.
HAMPTON ROVERS 1.4 9.6 15.10 20.17 (137)
BRUNSWICK 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.1 (7)
Goal Kickers: K. Pinto 8, R. Jones 2, T. Jones 2, D. Andersen, M. Innes, C. Miles, T. Stewart, N. Jackson, M. Timmons, J. Donald, J. Daley
Best Players: J. Daley, J. Donald, Z. Donald, D. Ballard, T. Jones, K. Pinto
A solid win by the Thirds to put them in the four with a guarantee of final’s action!
Good to see Huggy pull on the boots despite a bruised little toe (Coach’s assessment). He kicked two goals while refusing treatment from the trainers! Benny Sheldrake was on fire and booted 5 for the game while veteran Adam Power popped through a lazy 4. Great to see Jack Lloyd on the park. The coach’s comment was that he just ran all day! Some things don’t change.
Best on was Ash Hoare, he’s having quite a year and must be favourite for the B&F. Solid performances were put in by Lachy Edgar, Tom Youl and big Matty Ryan
Hampton Rovers 12.12.78
West Brunswick 3.1.19
Goal Kickers: B. Sheldrake 5, A. Power 4, J. Young 3, A. Hoar 2, A. Hug 2, L. Edgar, C. Ellison, Z. Raghdo, L. Cave
Best Players: A. Hoar, J. Lloyd, B. Sheldrake, Z. Raghdo, A. Hug, A. Power
The Senior Women were defeated by Old Brighton but as each week passes, the girls improve. Forget the scores, if you’re at the games you can see that those that train regularly are improving their skills each week and as they get more games under the belt they are reading the play better and making better decisions.
The backs now have a better understanding of their teammates play and are working as a far more cohesive unit when under pressure. With Lucy and Mandy leading down there it is obvious that the players are putting more pressure on their opponents and increasing the clearances. Again, our kicking let us down, something that we all need to work on in the off season.
Our rucks have been a strong point all year and are improving each week. The sharing of the load between Bianca, Tash and Jess is working really well – we just need to capitalise a bit more on their dominance and get the clearances – it will come. A special mention to Carla who had her best game of the season and picked up the best on award.
Final game this week against Beaumaris at 4.45pm at Banksia Reserve. Let’s all make an effort to get down there for the second half after the seniors game at the Boss.
Goal Kickers: T. Merrick, T. Hurst
Best: Carla Hewitt Taylan Merrick, Tarryn Hurst, Bianca Lenarcic, Lucy Timmons, Jess Barratt, Natasha Harrison
A tale of two halves in the Under 19s this week. At half time the boys were buoyant, a slender lead and they had matched the highly fancied opposition all over the ground. Against the wind in the first and we were kept scoreless but it was only a momentary lapse where we let the opposition in for a couple of easy goals that made the scoreboard a bit lopsided. In the second we played all over Old Brighton, we outscored them 5 to 1 and the coach said it was the best quarter we’d played for the year
Unfortunately, after the break the opposition came out firing and a 7 to 1 third quarter effectively ended the game. While we never gave up we just couldn’t get our mojo back and the opposition cruised to a comfortable victory. The coach did stress that at no time did the boys give up but fought out the game to the final siren.
HAMPTON ROVERS 0.0 5.0 6.1 7.3 (45)
OLD BRIGHTON 3.4 4.5 11.10 13.11 (89)
Goal Kickers: T. Marron 2, J. Rayner, M. Coughlin, C. Dodd, A. Woolston, B. Bergman
Best Players: O. Donald, M. Coughlin, S. Ebbott, C. Watson, J. Garrow
THIS SATURDAY AT HOME V OAKLEIGH
A big day for the Club. A critical game against a finals contender, a big lunch with a 1970s reunion coupled with the Hampton Rovers Junior Teams all coming along to make it a memorable day. Come down and be part of the fun. To book just text or call Nashy on 0407313054 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s only $30 per head for what is without doubt the best lunch in the VAFA. Book early as this luncheon is expected to sell-out.
How long has it been since we’ve had the Seniors, Reserves and Thirds all guaranteed a final’s berth? Great things happening at the Rovers!
THANKS TO OUR VOLUNTEERS
Seniors: Thanks to the Trainers, Max Grimmer and Billy Campbell for doing the stats, Kam Atkins for timeekeeping, Zac Donald for running water, and Lachie Wheeler for Runner duties. The latter two both played in the Ressies game – well done boys!
Reserves: Thanks to the Trainers, Ken Duddy for Team Manager duties and timekeeping, and Gary Nash for goal umpiring.
U19’s: Thanks to the Trainers, Heather Taylor for Team Manager duties, Amal Raghdo for timekeeping, Richard Timson for boundary umpiring and Lachie Reynolds for Runner duties.
Thanks also to the helpers for the Women & Under 19 matches.
VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK – BAILEY PEACE
Bailey is the nephew of the coach of the Thirds – Andrew McGregor. He is 10 maybe 11 and while he should, he doesn’t (yet) play footy for the Rovers! Every week, rain hail or shine Bailey is down helping his Uncle Eggars do whatever is needed. He’s been seen doing the running, boundary umpiring, goal umpiring or running water. He even went to one game when the thirds were a player short and rang his Mum to see if he could play! In that game Bailey goal umpired in the pouring rain. At half time, he told his uncle he was so cold he couldn’t feel his legs! Eggars response “toughen up sunshine!” Bailey does what he does for the love of the game. He is the first to jump up and offer to help. Whether it’s to locate the missing sock, the trainers bib, a bandage or a drink he’s there. Bailey is well mannered, polite and articulate and always ready with a smile. He’s a great asset to the team and for the Rovers. Congaratulations Bailey on being a Rovers nominee for Volunteer of the Year!