The Rovers have finished their 2023 Premier C campaign on a high, beating arch-rivals Ormond by 13 points, while the Reserves and finals-bound U19s also won.
It was the third consecutive win for the Rovers seniors, jumping Mazenod to finish the season in fifth position on the table.
It was a classic encounter and Hampton started strong. Clinton Young kicked his first goal of three in the early stages, kicking around the corner from 50 out, bouncing and finding its way through the big sticks. The goals kept coming, kicking five to Ormond’s three in the first term and getting out to a 45-point lead at one point in the second.
With plenty on the line for Ormond (needing a win to avoid relegation), the home side lifted. The margin was reduced to 20 points at the main break and Ormond snatched the lead in the third, to lead by six points at the final change.
It was high pressure footy in the final quarter with both sides having chances. There were lead changes and with not long left the scores were all square, which would be enough to save Ormond.
However, Joel Melnjak, who had moved forward, took a strong mark and as the clock ticked well over 30 minutes, kicked truly from the set shot to give the Rovers the lead. Another goal followed and as the siren sounded, it was a 13-point victory for the Rovers in what was a fitting way to end Anthony Quon’s tenure as senior coach. It also sealed Ormond’s fate as they drop to division one for 2024, as Marcellin survive by the barest of margins.
The win sees the Rovers reclaim the Buxton Cup, while Ben Crothers (4 goals) was awarded the Barnes Family Medal for his best on ground performance. He was well supported by Clinton Young (3 goals), James Prosser and Lachie Costello. Will Crawford also kicked three goals as he prepares to return to the U19s for finals.
Ormond 1.3-9 5.8-38 10.11-71 13.19-97
Hampton Rovers 5.3-33 9.4-58 10.5-65 17.8-110
Goal Kickers: B. Crothers 4, W. Crawford 3, C. Young 3, L. Costello, J. Melnjak, J. Manning, J. Prosser, A. Hug, C. Carnovale, H. McIntyre
Best Players: B. Crothers, C. Young, J. Prosser, O. Roberts, L. Costello, J. Melnjak
Great to see two full tables of Rovers supporters at the Ormond Luncheon prior to the game. Always great support by both club’s and a rivalry which will now take a break for at least one season.
In the Reserves, it was also Joel Emmins last game in charge, and they too like the seniors, finished with a victory to send him off in style. After controlling much of the game early, they just couldn’t quote put Ormond away, and they probably finished the stronger, but the siren sounded with the Rovers one point ahead!
Ormond 1.2-8 3.5-23 5.6-36 8.8-56
Hampton Rovers 2.3-15 6.4-40 7.6-48 8.9-57
Goal Kickers: C. Miles 2, A. Woolston 2, J. Campion, D. Lyon, B. Culvenor, J. Bowditch
Best Players: W. Cowie, W. Black, L. McCartney, B. Traeger-Haig, A. Woolston, D. Lyon
The Under 19’s played Parkdale Vultures at Boss James Reserve, running out comprehensive 79-point victors. Competition leading goal kicker Charles Kilburn snagged another four to finish the season on 51 majors, while Will Rogacki and Josh Hudghton kicked three each. James Keys, Luke Nixon-Smith and Lachie Celantano were best for the Rovers.
Attention now turns to the first semi final where the young Rovers host Old Xavs on Saturday at Boss James Reserve – 2pm start. Get along and cheer on the boys as they look to book a spot in the prelim.