Gutsy win keeps Rovers safe

Saturday’s round 16 match at Carey Sports Complex was probably the highest pressure game of the year for the Rovers, sitting on four wins, one win clear of eight and six points clear of ninth. 

A loss would have meant the Rovers would be in the relegation battle until likely the last round when we play Ormond, a club that we’ve had many critical battles with over the years, the most recent being their Grand Final victory over us in 2018.

After a nice morning, drizzling rain commenced at the start of the game at Bulleen and persisted until the end, resulting in a scrappy and low scoring game of football.  There were six changes to the team that lost the previous week to the ladder leaders. Speedy, after a two week holiday, was back and he was fantastic and picked up the BOG award for the day.  Up until half time he had kicked our total score for the day!  Of course, 2.2 to 1.6 in our favour was no great shakes, the game was still on the line.  Liam O’Driscoll was continuing his great form of 2023 as was skipper Christian Carnovale.

The conditions were shocking the ball like a cake of soap and the ground like an ice skating rink.  Oscar Roberts at CHB stemmed many Carey forward thrusts and played the role of backline general to perfection.

At half time, the coach’s message was succinct – trust your team mates.  Little changed in the next half – the ball slipped from end to end with the only scores being the odd angry snap that went through for a goal.  Hugo Garrow scored early but it was not until the 26 minute mark of the third quarter that the first set shot for goal actually scored a goal.  Yes, Ben Crothers on the wing earned the free kick and then a 50m penalty followed by another and Ben scored from the square – our only set shot for a goal all day. 

Of course, with 35 minute quarters due to the stoppages, Old Carey answered at the 34 minute mark after a free kick (and 50m) and that reduced the margin to 5 points at the final break. 

The final quarter was only a couple of minutes old when VDS marked just inside 50m.  His kick, while very accurate dropped just short.  Both clubs peppered the goals without being rewarded until finally Old Carey goaled to make it a one point margin.  The arm wrestle then commenced in earnest with both teams throwing themselves in with abandon.  Carny didn’t stop and his non-stop running gave us plenty of the ball but when Harry McIntyre picked up the loose ball with only minutes left and somehow got his boot to it and goaled to give us a 6 point lead did the anxious supporters relax a little.  When Lucas Sharp snapped truly from 25m a few minutes later and deep into time on, did the travelling supporters finally smile.

A hard-earned 13-point win for the Rovers which starves off any threat of relegation. Next week is a section-wide bye, with the Under 19s playing at the Boss at 11.30am as a curtain raiser to the annual Battle of the Boots in what’s a big day. In a fortnight, the Rovers are back at the Boss for the final home game of the season against Mazenod.

Old Carey                    0.3-3    1.6-12  2.11-23            3.15-33
Hampton Rovers          1.0-6    2.2-14  4.4-28              6.10-46
Goal Kickers: J. McPherson 2, H. McIntyre, H. Garrow, L. Sharp, B. Crothers
Best Players: J. McPherson, H. McIntyre, B. Crothers, C. Carnovale, L. O’Driscoll, O. Roberts


Old Carey                    6.0-36  9.1-55  11.8-74            13.12-90
Hampton Rovers          3.1-19  4.3-27  8.3-51              10.4-64
Goal Kickers: A. Woolston 3, N. Jackson 3, J. Bowditch, M. Ward, L. Odgers, T. Hutton
Best Players: J. Smith, A. Woolston, J. Bull, S. Somogyi, M. Ward, Z. Raghdo


After being all square at half time, the Rovers U19s went down to top of the table Beaumaris following a big second half by the opposition. With the Seniors now secure, expect some of the Under 19s to return to bolster the team ahead of finals. Three rounds to go and the boys are in fourth place on the ladder and they play two teams below them in two of the last three rounds.

Beaumaris                   2.5-17  6.6-42  14.12-96          21.15-141
Hampton Rovers          4.0-24  7.0-42  8.3-51              9.7-61
Goal Kickers: C. Kilburn 2, W. Crawford 2, L. Coughlin, B. Jensen-Muir, K. Carrigan, W. Rogacki, D. Hall
Best Players: O. Horigan, L. Celantano, W. Crawford, K. Carrigan, J. Hudghton


The Rovers went down to Ivanhoe at Boss James Reserve in their final game of the season. Great to see the likes of Steve Anderson and his sons Nick and Ollie pulling on the boots, Rory Lynch back for another game,  Jack Campion in a BoG performance and the return of another overseas traveller Dillon Melnjak having a tune up run, Luke Morcom back in the green and gold with stalwart Rupert Hunt having a run.  A fantastic effort by Andrew McGregor to get a team on the park each week for the season and for a while in the middle stages of the season we were on song for a finals campaign.  If only… He only had to rely on 73 players to achieve that in 2023 in a mighty effort!!

Hampton Rovers          3.1-19  3.1-19              4.3-27              7.3-45
Ivanhoe AFC                5.1-31  11.2-68            15.9-99            20.15-135
Goal Kickers: J. Young 3, A. Steedman 2, D. Melnjak, S. Anderson
Best Players: J. Campion, N. Anderson, D. Melnjak, J. Young, A. Steedman, J. Rees

Save the date: Saturday 26 August for the final Home Game Luncheon of the season and the final Luncheon in the Rovers clubrooms as we know them, with the pavilion redevelopment to commence following the season. Book now >

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