A windy and cold day greeted the boys at Princes Park. Old Haileybury (OH) won the toss and kicked with a 4 -5 goal breeze. They had the first score on the board quickly – a point – and the Rovers kept the ball in their forward line for a while but without hurting the scoreboard. The ball then travelled swiftly down to OH’s forward 50 and they kicked the first goal of the match.
On the wing Aussie King was moving well and Ben Allen was winning ruck hitouts, Flynn Lohan on debut was hard at the ball and Tom Goldsmith (Goldy) was stopping the opposition from scoring. But OH was proving too fast for the Rovers and had a couple of goals on the board.
Zac Mackay (VC) took a great flying mark in defence and Lucas Sharp was spoiling marks across half back. Lachie Costello made two great efforts to get the ball, knocking it to the Rovers’ advantage and Hugo Lay was taking possession, weaving around the opposition. Max Leaver and Ronan Keating were making an impact at half forward and Luke Langdon (Langas) not only got crunched but ended up well balanced on the wing hitting Aussie King lace out. Garbo (Michael Garbelotto) could be heard in the next suburb shouting instructions to his team mates and Ben Doolan (Dools) was following instructions by laying hard tackles. Mo was trying hard and Ben Marron (VC)(Benny Maz) was driving kicks into the forward line from the centre of the ground.
Kicking into such a strong wind was always going to be a disadvantage, but the boys missed a lot of targets too and allowed OH to bag a couple more goals before the break. And just on quarter time, Ben Allen (C) went down with a knee injury and did not re-enter the field.
The Rovers started very well in the second quarter, with Max winning the first ruck contest to Lachie C who handpassed to Lucas who in turn dished off to B. Maz with a behind resulting. A few minutes later B. Maz spoiled his opponent and drilled one in from the boundary. The boys’ confidence was up and Per was one who was in the mud in the middle of the ground getting his body over the ball, and Flynn was continuing to put the opposition under pressure. Peter Somogyi kicked a point and then Dools tackled, getting the ball off to Jacob Beames who kicked truly. Another passage of play with Lucas marking and kicking to Ben Crothers who then kicked to Joey Wilson who kicked the first of his 5 goals for the day. Hugo was superb with a number of possessions and kicking into attack and Brodie O’Neill was another one putting great tackles on the opposition.
Will Kervin was showing good ball sense and evading opponents before kicking long and Dools who took a timely mark in defence toward the end of the half. In fact the Rovers’ defenders were combining well with Cam Carmeni and Seb DeWolf tackling well and getting the ball forward. The hard work from down back and the midfield paid off with Aussie kicking one through the middle and Joey kicking two more goals, one from a Lucas pass and the other from B.Maz.
It was important to score against the wind in the third quarter to get an edge over OH. The wind had died a little so that was going to be to the Rovers’ advantage. Goldy was doing well in defence again and began the quarter well with a mark and kick. The boys were short passing into the breeze and Garbo was dominating at centre half back. Brodie was getting around his man in attack and Peter S then had a special 2 minutes, marking and just missing a goal from centre half forward, then taking a mark at full forward and kicking accurately.
From the centre bounce, Max tapped to B. Maz who handpassed to Jacob who kicked to Joey. The second goal into the breeze for the quarter boosted the boys’ confidence yet again and they were buoyant. Flynn and Seb were combining well however OH got one back. Then real bad luck for Peter Somogyi; he was in a head clash with his opponent, came off the ground with blood pouring from his head and had to be taken straight to hospital.
Late mail is that Peter is ok, cleared of concussion and the wound was glued closed. Good news. The boys kept playing well, Hugo was great in defence as was Langas playing a defensive wing.
The Rovers needed to maintain momentum in the final quarter. The breeze was no longer a 4-5 goal advantage, probably only 1-2 goals, meaning that OH had a chance to win the game. Under pressure, Seb took a mark in defence and Jacob took one at CHF, kicking a point. Lucas took a mark from the kick out and then Goldy took possession however OH rebounded, kicking a goal against the flow of play. The boys steadied in defence with Ronan contesting and B. Maz gathering crumbs. Cam also settled the defence as did Zac, taking timely marks to thwart the opposition.
Mo, Brodie and Jacob combined with the ball in the forward line and Garbo effected a great spoil and tackle, earning a free kick. Will K received the ensuing pass, kicking the ball long into the forward line and Joey was tackled without the ball, calmly slotting through another – his 4th. There followed a series of stoppages with the boys tackling hard before Joey got his 5th goal for the match. But the pressure was still on and Garbo, Zac and Cam held the backline together with the ball heading towards the Rovers forward line as the siren went for a great win.
Old Haileybury 4.4-28 4.4-28 6.8-44 8.8-56
Hampton Rovers 0.0 6.3-39 8.4-52 10.5-65
Goal Kickers: J. Wilson 5, P. Somogyi 2, J. Beames, A. King, B. Marron
Best Players: J. Wilson, L. Sharp, H. Lay, T. Goldsmith, Z. Mackay, B. Marron
Thanks to our volunteers again this week, Phil Crothers – Boundary Umpire, Greg Lay – Timekeeper and scoreboard, Sophie Scott – strapping and trainer.
Thanks also to Assistant Coach Tom Marron for calmly stepping into the head Coaching role today as Zac Pirrie had been feeling quite unwell this week.
A steady hand after a slow start by the team, he steered the boys to a memorable second quarter of 6 goals to zero and then on to a much-needed win to secure 3rd place on the ladder.
Next week we take on 2nd placed St Kevin’s – another big game.