The Rovers Under 19s came up against third placed South Melbourne Districts at Castlefield on Saturday looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
After an unsteady start the previous week, the lads were keen for a solid first quarter and they didn’t disappoint.
The smaller ground meant skill errors would receive quick punishment, but strong drive out of the centre from our on-ballers saw Jacob Gray open his account, along with Max Coughlin and Dillon Melnjak hitting the board multiple times to build a handy 20 point lead by 1/4 time.
South Melbourne rallied in the second and some lazy ‘down-the-line’ kicking from our boys saw too many turnovers and entries back into South Melbourne’s forward line but our defensive line held solid despite losing the reliable Oscar Donald with a sore back. A third goal to Dillon, along with a strong mark in front of goal saw Liam O’Driscoll keep our lead intact.
A few sharp observations from the Coach at the break saw the lads focus return in the third and Jacob Gray dominating with three goals (on his way to a total of five!). It was a team performance with no passengers – moving the ball more cleanly across the ground with Tom Marron often the target out wide, giving great delivery to the forwards. Mention must be made of Cooper Watson too who has been very solid at fullback for us this season but lifted again this game, denying South Melbourne repeatedly – great work Cooper!
Honourable mention must go to Patrick Starcevich this game too, who read the play beautifully ‘off the tree’ in the pocket, good work Pat!!
Tate G had yet another good game, along with the hard-contesting Cam Morris and Dillon Melnjak, who is proving his versatility. Ben Marron bagged two (unlucky not to be leading the goalkicking with a few missed ones too) and Harry deWolf yet again getting a fair bit of the pill. Ben Allen’s solid Ruckwork, well backed-up by Duncan McKenzie has provided the stability we need in the centre and while we can’t mention everyone each week, the team effort really has been consistent across the board.
In the end, a formidable performance by Jacob Gray saw 5 goals and clearly B.O.G, helping steer the Rovers to a comfortable 44-point win and the Rovers song enthusiastically belted out in the rooms.
Big thanks to the volunteers this week, Spaziani family for Timekeeping/scoring, John Allan waving the flags, O’Driscoll’s for oranges and Averil Gramaconi for Interchange duties.
Round 6 sees us up against 2nd placed Glen Eira this Saturday 9:20am at Boss James Reserve – the first game of a big triple-header featuring the Reserves and Seniors afterwards. The lads are genuinely looking forward to the contest…….so come down early to cheer on the boys at home!
After the game, parents and players are invited to the Home Game Luncheon inside the clubrooms – $30 p/head, 12:30pm start with the bar open from midday. Book online here or let Miranda know.
HAMPTON ROVERS 5.5 7.9 12.15 14.18 (102)
SOUTH MELBOURNE 1.3 3.5 4.6 8.10 (58)
Goal Kickers: J. Gray 5, D. Melnjak 3, M. Coughlin 2, B. Marron 2, L. O’Driscoll, T. Gramaconi
Best Players: J. Gray, C. Watson, D. Melnjak, B. Marron, T. Gramaconi, H. de Wolf