Up against the unbeaten top side it never was going to be an easy day. Yet, at quarter time the Rovers had more than matched it with the ladder-leaders and in fact were starting to show some of their 2022 form.
It was an even tussle from the start with the Rovers seeming to dominate possession of the ball yet unable to get the ball through the big sticks.
The two Hampton goals for the quarter originated from a Jackson Manning kick that hit the target from a centre clearance and opened up the play for the forwards. Great to see Jacob Gray mark strongly and kick accurately from 50m and Cam Morris being the beneficiary of a Christian Carnovale pass – he didn’t miss the shot at goal.
The backs were solid, led by VDS and Oscar Roberts, and the coolness under pressure by all six backmen stopped many opposition attacks.
The Rovers continued their attack on the ball in the second and when Ant Folino goaled, the boys had a handy three goal lead. Good to see Perko showing some of his 2022 form and his possessions were mounting. Football can be a tough game and when Joel Melnjak gave three great efforts to stop a PEGS attack it seemed an injustice when he was pinged him for an offence the Rovers faithful could not understand.
Down back the boys were linking up and the combination of Crispy, VDS, Joel and Oscar had control when PEGS attacked. Still, the opposition kicked two goals for the quarter – game on!
In the second half, PEGS gradually got on top of the Rovers. It didn’t help when a miskick in the first minute of the quarter landed with an opposition forward on his own in the goal square! The difference seemed to be that when Hampton went forward, the boys had to fight for scores. Cam Morris was attacking the ball and player as he always does and having great impact, but it was hard work. On the other hand, with precise kicking the opposition’s forward thrusts seemed to hit their forwards accurately giving our backs little chance of intervention.
A point down going into the last quarter, it was going to be tough. It was only a few minutes into the quarter when Zach Mackay was hit solidly while going for a mark, the opposition proceeded put the first of four goals on the board. Again, accurate kicking by their mids to their forwards made it hard for the Rovers defence.
Hampton did fight the game out and while PEGS jumped to a two goal lead from early in the quarter, the Rovers didn’t give up. Harry McIntyre’s goal from a free about 30m out and on an acute angle was one of the few highlights for the quarter.
Hugo Garrow, up from the U19s and playing his first game in the seniors, showed he will have a long career in the seniors. In the last quarter on the social room side, he showed what a strong mark he is and how hard he attacked the ball. Similarly, James Keys, still eligible for the U19s, is improving with each game and his goal from outside 50m showed how valuable he’ll be this season.
It must have been a very even team performance on the day when the skipper in the middle, Liam O’Driscoll in the ruck and Cam Morris playing as a forward/ruck didn’t feature in the best!
The Rovers sit second last on the ladder, but after losing three games by a couple of kicks or thereabouts and taking it right up to the undefeated PEGS, will be hoping for some wins coming up to turn their season around. Next up, the boys face Old Ivanhoe away from home.
Hampton Rovers 2.5-17 3.6-24 5.7-37 7.9-51
PEGS Football Club 0.2-2 2.5-17 5.8-38 9.10-64
Goal Kickers: C. Morris 3, A. Folino, J. Keys, H. McIntyre, M. Coughlin
Best Players: M. van der Straaten, J. McPherson, O. Roberts, H. Crisp, J. Keys, C. Perkins
Three wins on the trot for the Rovers Senior Women have put them in equal fourth place in Division 1 after 6 rounds. It was a ‘perfect for footy’ morning at Castlefield Reserve for the ever-improving Rovers Women’s team.
It really was an overall ‘team effort’ that brought Hampton this convincing win over Hawthorn. The team played almost ‘perfect footy’ to match the conditions and everyone played their part, whether on the backline, forward or the mids.
Wardy and his support coaching group have obviously got the team extremely well drilled in their roles, back up positioning and therefore working really well as a team. A very solid performance on Saturday, our highest score for the year and great to see Greta Robertson in the goals with 3 for the day. Clearly, Maisy Evans is in great form with a second BOG award in three weeks.
Some new players featured this week and I understand that they all acquitted themselves very well. Congratulations to Matilda Clarkson, Sophie James, Zara Rayner and Jacqui Chester on their debut in the team.
Hampton Rovers 2.1-13 3.6-24 4.8-32 7.9-51
Hawthorn AFC 1.1-7 1.3-9 1.4-10 2.6-18
Goal Kickers: G. Robertson 3, T. Jones, M. Evans, S. James, G. Samkova
Best Players: M. Evans, J. Andros, B. Kavanagh, G. Samkova, M. Naylor, T. Jones
The Rovers U19’s are in red hot form up in division one. Sitting second on the ladder having beaten Old Melburnians on Saturday and facing up to top team Beaumaris next week. The whole team is Improving every week and with full forward Will Crawford currently leading goalkicker in the Division and Josh Hudghton in fourth place, the future looks bright. Good to see big Tom Ellinghaus being BOG and Louis Coughlin, brother of Max who plays in the seniors, featuring in the best.
Old Melburnians 1.0-6 3.3-21 7.5-47 7.8-50
Hampton Rovers 8.3-51 8.6-54 10.10-70 14.15-99
Goal Kickers: W. Crawford 4, C. Kilburn 3, D. Hall 2, J. Hudghton 2, L. Nixon-Smith, B. Wells, C. McSwain
Best Players: T. Ellinghaus, L. Coughlin, L. Celantano, C. McSwain, W. Crawford
Another strong performance by the Rovers as they had an easy win over PEGS in the early game at Boss James Reserve. Jess Donald was in the best on his return and he and Nick Jackson featured in the goal kickers. Andrew Woolston was a surprise as BOG in his first game back for a month. Nick Assirvaden continues his good form in the ruck.
Hampton Rovers 2.4-16 3.9-27 5.13-43 7.14-56
PEGS Football Club 0.0 1.1-7 2.4-16 4.7-31
Goal Kickers: N. Jackson 2, J. Donald 2, J. Bowditch, A. Woolston, L. Costello
Best Players: A. Woolston, N. Assirvaden, N. Jackson, J. Donald, J. Wilson, A. Hug
The Rovers made the long trek to Royal Park to face West Brunswick for a 9:20am game in what was a big day for their club. There were a number of late withdrawals after selection on Thursday night which made things tough. The boys kept up with the home side for periods, but West Brunswick proved too strong, running out convincing winners.
Back at Boss James Reserve, it was fantastic to see so many players in attendance to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the 2013 Senior Premiership. The lunch was well attended and the celebrations continued into the night.