Hampton Rovers went down to Ormond by six points in an incredible Grand Final at Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday.
Ormond had a draw and two wins in the past three meetings against the young Rovers and their domination continued in the first three quarters on Saturday, restricting Hampton to just three goals entering time on in the third. Still, footy is a funny game and as the Rovers peppered the goals in the closing minutes, you could feel the tide turning. Just 19 points down at the final break, and the Rovers were well and truly in the game. Up to that point, the 2500-strong crowd at Trevor Barker Oval, the majority who were Rovers supporters, had little to cheer about.
The Rovers were dealt a blow before the game with key player Richard Atkins failing his fitness test earlier that morning, with his hamstring not recovering and creating a big gap to fill in the final game of the year.
The Rovers opened with a goal in the first minute, a great snap by Cam Hetherington however that was it for the quarter. Yes, Ormond only kicked two goals, both by the winner of the BOG medal who kicked five for the day, but it was their domination around the packs that was the problem. Josh Broadley and Michael Fletcher were clearly winning the taps, however they weren’t falling to their teammates, as the Rovers were being smashed in the clearances. Liam McCartney had a tagging role on an Ormond gun and he was working hard to keep his opponent under control. He did a great job all day with their number 8 get
In the second quarter, the arm wrestle continued. Goals were hard to come by, but it just seemed Hampton were on the back foot from the outset and while kicking to the favoured city end, Ormond were on top. The Rovers first goal of the quarter came as Shem Curry floated down from half back and somehow managed to grab the mongrel punt banged at him by Broads. Shem kicked truly. Ben Kneebush was having a solid game in the midfield and a great contest with his opponent. His goal came courtesy of a good mark and a lucky 25m penalty.
Lachy Cairns was prominent on the wing and those flashy boots always made him easy to see. He was giving the Rovers drive through the middle but the forwards were unable to capitalize. Both Clements and Hetherington, the main targets up forward, weren’t being helped by average disposal through the midfield and the Ormond boys were able to nullify their effectiveness. Ormond seemed to be playing a loose man in defence and he managed to restrict the Rovers on several occasions. The coaches made the changes at the main break with Clements moving to the backline and Matt Rieniets and Oscar Roberts moved forward. Danny Corp was to play on the loose Ormond backman.
For the first 22 minutes of the third quarter, the Rovers didn’t trouble the scorer, the Monders had banged on two goals, the first in the opening seconds of the start of the term, and Hampton were five goals down and facing a demolition. The move of Sam Clements was starting to have effect and Matt Rieniets and Daniel Corp were causing problems for the Ormond defenders and all of a sudden, the Rovers began to run and carry and deliver more accurately to the forwards. The Ormond boys were confused and hesitancy started to creep into their game. Hampton kicked the final two goals of the quarter and as the siren sounded, the Rovers had been peppering the goals with little success.
In three quarters of footy, Hampton had about five minutes in time on where the supporters had something to get excited about. The huge Rovers crowd at the city end were roaring their support for the boys and it seemed to finally be having an effect. Anthony Quon was calm at the final break of the year. He stressed what he had many times this year, “We are in the game, the margin was back to what it was at half time, trust your team mates and go hard at the ball and we will win”.
As in the preliminary final, the Rovers dominated the first 23 minutes of the last quarter. Hampton went from 17 points down to 9 points ahead and Ormond had stopped. Two great goals to Harry Hodges, both when he crashed through the pack at full speed, took the loose ball and kicked erratically but accurately for goals. Our third was the result of a strong mark by Daniel Corp, who goaled from the set shot. Our final goal from the player who was in our best, Ant Folino, who earned the free virtually in the goal square. He had put in four quarters of hard footy in what was one of his best game for the year.
23 minutes played in the final term, the Monders had halted and the Rovers almost looked home. Then the unbelievable happened. Ormond, totally against the play, kicked the miracle checkside goal from the boundary line and the difference was back to less than a goal. Kyle Pinto just kept running, as he had all day, was in the thick of the action, urging the young Rovers on. Then drama struck when Lachy Cairns went down with a serious ankle injury and the game had to be stopped. At the break, Mat Care and Sam Clements both came off with dodgy hamstrings and young Scotty Ebbott with a broken nose. Five minutes left and no one on the bench was a setback for the Rovers. When play resumed, it was clear that Ormond had regrouped and while the Rovers last scoring shots resulted in three behinds, Ormond kicked two goals to sneak a six point win in dramatic circumstances.
Emotional scenes on both sides after a Grand Final for the ages. The latest chapter in what is a remarkable rivalry between the two proud district clubs. Despite the Grand Final loss, 2018 was still mission accomplished – an immediate return to Premier C for 2019 with a young team who have improved so much over the course of the year and looking forward to the possibility of some interesting new recruits for the new season.
HAMPTON ROVERS 1.4 3.7 5.10 9.15 (69)
ORMOND 3.3 6.6 8.9 11.9 (75)
Goal Kickers: A. Folino 2, B. Kneebush 2, D. Corp, S. Curry, C. Hetherington, H. Hodges, M. Rieniets
Best Players: K. Pinto, L. McCartney, B. Kneebush, M. Rieniets, O. Roberts, J. Broadley
Ormond also proved too strong in the Reserves, running out 27-point victors to make it a double on the day. Read the full match report >
The club thanks everyone for their support on Saturday – it was fantastic to see such a huge Rovers crowd at Trevor Barker Oval – something which we’ve become accustomed to come finals time. Also good to see such great numbers back at Boss James Reserve following the game, despite the results. While the mood was sombre at first, it didn’t take long at all for it to lift, realising it has been a great season for the club.
Thanks also to our helpers on Grand Final day: Stan Oldfield for umpire escort duties, the Trainers, Max Grimmer and Billy Campbell for doing the stats, Kam Atkins for timekeeping, Daniel Anderson for Runner duties and Edi Melnjak, Bailey Peace, Mandy Naylor and Aaron Wood for running water.
Next up, it’s Presentation Night, on the Grand Final Holiday Eve (Thursday September 28) at the Brighton International. Please get onto the Rovers Shop and buy your tickets ASAP. $95 all-inclusive.