Lacklustre performance as Rovers go down to Hoers

After the high of the Reserves win over the top side, the mood quickly changed for the Rovers supporters, with a horrible first half by the Seniors seeing Old Ivanhoe run out convincing winners at Chelsworth Park.

The home side banged on 10 goals to one in first half and the game was effectively over at the main break.  It could only be described as a disappointing performance on a day when expectations were so high.  Sloppy delivery, poor kicking for goal and missed tackles occurred time and time again to the chagrin of those supporters who made the trek out to the “wilds” of Ivanhoe. Their ground is after all, in an Aussie bush setting!

A bad day for injuries.  One of the Ivanhoe boys dislocated his hip just before quarter time and the 45-minute delay in waiting for the ambulance and getting him safely on board meant we would be finishing in darkness!  Likewise, in the last quarter one of our promising Oakleigh Chargers boys, Ross Sklavenitis in a seemingly innocuous change of direction, went down with a crippling knee injury.

The wind was certainly a factor in this game.  In the first quarter, it appeared the Hoers had the advantage of the wind, yet in the second quarter they seemed to have it again and then again in the last – surely not?  Still, they well and truly won on their merits and made Hampton look slow, disinterested and sloppy.

After half time, the Rovers did respond to the coach’s exhortations. We were clearly on top in the third quarter but just couldn’t put the score on the board.  While we controlled the play, the home side seemed to score with every foray forward, their big blokes took marks that broke up the play while ours seemed to hesitate, stop and then allow the opposition to reset.  Ant Folino and Harry Hodges seemed to be the only ones really going hard for the ball all day, Ryan Fogarty and Ben Kneebush were prominent but we just didn’t capitalize when we had control of the ball.  Tim Jones kept putting his body in all day and Pross just kept doing the things he had been doing all year.

At the final break, night was falling.  Old Ivanhoe had the benefit of the wind and anything could have happened.  The boys held firm, while outscored, we had more than our share of the play but again just couldn’t score.  Making his senior debut after seven goals in the Reserves last week, Harrison McIntye took some strong marks when given the benefit of good ball delivery into the forward line.  While not tall, he is a great mark for his size but was given no chance when our mids just kept delivering the ball on or over his head.  Similarly, Sam Bradford did kick 3 goals and that was from the handful of opportunities he was given and none of them were easy.

Harry Crisp fought hard all day and can deliver accurately. Oscar Roberts in his first game back took a number of strong marks and gave us run from the backline.  Ben Traeger-Haig on the last line of defence was one of the Rovers best on the day, he won every contest with his opponent and on the number of times he was caught one or two out he fought out and usually won the contest.

As the final quarter dragged on, the lights eventually came on, making little difference, as the players and supporters struggled to see what was happening.  The umpires finally decided to call the game off, as the clock hit 5:08pm, although there was only a minute remaining on the clock.

The boys will be keen to forget that performance, and now look ahead to this Saturday at Boss James Reserve, when the Rovers host bottom-side PEGS. Despite the loss, Hampton remain in sixth position on the Premier C ladder, although the percentage takes a hit.

OLD IVANHOE            4.1  10.5  13.6  17.9 (111)
HAMPTON ROVERS   0.3  1.8  3.13  4.15 (39)
Goal Kickers: S. Bradford 3, H. Hodges
Best Players: A. Folino, T. Jones, J. Prosser, O. Roberts, H. Crisp, R. Fogarty

Wins for all the other Rovers sides on Saturday with the Reserves claiming a superb victory in the early game, the U19s returning to the winners list with a solid win over Old Xaverians, and the Senior Women recording another win, this time over Oakleigh. The Thirds had a bye. Match reports for all games available via the news page.

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