Reserves fall to Monders in Grand Final

The Hampton Rovers Reserves were defeated by Ormond by 27 points at Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday.

It was a very competitive match played in ideal footy conditions. After winning all previous recent games, Ormond went into the season decider as strong favourites. The opening quarter didn’t do much to dispel this as Ormond opened with the first three straight goals. They dominated the first few minutes with the Rovers struggling to get it past the centre. Credit to Ormond’s game style as each goal was the result of clean teamwork and delivery.

The Rovers first and only goal came from a good mark by Miles, well delivered by Stewart. The Rovers had quite a few half chances but couldn’t quite capitalise as maybe grand final jitters took over. Ormond as usual provided hard running through the midfield when they gained possession. In a selection move, Broadstock was thrown into the ruck from the opening bounce and while he was good at getting the tapouts, unfortunately the Rovers couldn’t take advantage. A late goal by Ormond gave them a good lead.

The second quarter settled down a bit and both sides were hard at it. Tackling was fierce as you would expect. Rovers had most of the play early and pretty well locked it in their forward line but frustratingly 4 behinds in a row resulted until Miles was awarded a free for holding and he kicked a goal. Ormond then responded immediately for a quick goal which didn’t seem right! The Rovers again held sway for a period and strong pressure held the ball in the half and Miles took a strong pack mark to kick his 3rd goal for the day. The selectors move to place him deep forward instead of ruck was paying dividends.

Ormond got a late goal and pretty much kept the scores similar though the Rovers with 8 scoring shots to Ormond’s 7 probably won the quarter with more of the play but not so much the score board. Tate, Timmons and Zaina were influential while unfortunately the normally strong TJ was lost to a knee injury. Overall, Ormond were a little more efficient due to their ability to set up their shots at goal from better positions but the Rovers had to a degree shut down their attack through the middle forcing them wider and reducing their scoring.

The third term was again won by the Rovers but pressure (perceived or real) caused a couple of near misses to result in behinds. CJ got his first for the day from a strong mark and Miles added his 4th with a good mark in the goal square. Jackson got his first courtesy of a holding free and Culvenor just missed an unlucky snap deemed to be touched on the line. He did set up Jacko for a goal shortly after though, after the Rovers got a good overlap happening from the backline when they went coast to coast.

It was 9 scoring shots to the Rovers while Ormond had 5 shots for the quarter but unfortunately shots by the Rovers were usually under pressure while Ormond seemed to find space to have set shots from good position. But the game was in the balance with the Rovers only trailing by 7 points at the last break and having more of the play in the previous 2 quarters. Jesse Donald in the midfield was a standout for the Rovers as was Lynch down back.

The last quarter started with a quick goal to Ormond, but CJ for the Rovers marked in the goal square to bring back the game to a few points. Unfortunately, in a string of bad luck, Miles copped an accidental head butt, the skipper Jewell copped a heavy knee to his back in a contest and suddenly the Rovers were down to only one interchange player left and 3 key players sidelined. Ormond took advantage and kicked a couple long goals as tired bodies were beginning to feel the effects of the hard contest. Merlo took a good mark and goaled and Ballard scored a late goal for the Rovers on the end of a good string of handballs.

In the end, Ormond had stronger and bigger bodies taking advantage of a tired and injury ravaged Rovers to run out 27-point winners. Credit to Ormond as they seemed to have a good game plan that allowed them to absorb lots of Rovers attacks to then capitalise on pressured turnovers to move the ball quickly to their forwards in space. If you are a Get Smart fan you could say it was “Control” triumphing over “Chaos” but only prevailed by “this much”.

It was a good match befitting clearly the best two teams for the season by a country mile. The Rovers had great contribution across all players and while the forwards get “written” recognition for the goals, the backs and mids were also great contributors with each doing their bit. If it can stay together, the team should enjoy another successful year in 2019.  A very good side, perhaps a little unlucky to come up against a side that would have beaten some of the other competitions 1st teams.

HAMPTON ROVERS  1.2  3.8  7.13  10.13 (73)
ORMOND  4.1  6.6  9.8  15.10 (100)
Goal Kickers: C. Miles 4, C. Jones 2, N. Jackson 2, D. Merlo, D. Ballard
Best Players: J. Donald, R. Lynch, C. Miles, D. Ballard, M. Timmons, J. Zaina

Thanks to our helpers: Stan Oldfield for umpire escort duties, the Trainers, Ken Duddy for Team Manager duties, Gary Hetherington for timekeeping, Matthew Bright for runner duties, Kristy Ebbott, Andrew McGregor, Corey Randall and Adrian Hug for running water. Thanks also to Jen & Al Jones for putting together these reports all season.

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