Rovers down Vultures to remain unbeaten at Sandy

Ant Folino kicks the ball forward. Photo: Archie Edelsten

The Rovers produce an impressive display on Saturday, albeit for some inaccurate kicking, defeating local rivals Parkdale Vultures by 28 points at Trevor Barker Oval.

The opposition went into the game high on confidence following a 173-point trouncing of Glen Eira, while the Rovers were looking to make it two from two at their home away from home in 2024. It was another sensational day at Sandringham, with minimal wind and the sun shining.

Parkdale’s big threat was ex-AFL star Mitch Brown who booted 9 goals the previous week. This week, Oscar Roberts was given the job on the forward and what a job he did, restricting him to just the two majors.

The first quarter was played at a frenetic pace where the Vultures seemed to be quicker and have more accurate ball delivery.  The number of times they broke free in defence and whipped the ball into their forward line was a worry.  The Rovers skipper was in and under as usual and he was using his ability to shrug tackles to good effect.

The Rovers only goal for the quarter came when Corey Jones who marked strongly, dished off to Ryan Leslie who passed to Ant Folino who delivered to Will Crawford lace out.  He didn’t miss.  Parkdale kicked a couple, a free to their gun and a goal line scramble where the Rovers made at least three disposal errors and let in the Vultures forwards for a second.

The Rovers needed to settle and coach Marty Pask at the quarter time break managed to get the message across to the players.  In the next 30 minutes of footy only one goal was kicked! Will Crawford again.  Mind you, during the quarter after that goal, we again went for records.  This time the next eight Hampton shots on goal all resulted in behinds, five of those points were from set shots.  The game could have been stitched up at half time.

Still, the signs were good, the backs were resolute in their defence, the Rovers mids led by Carnovale and Tredders were on top, the boys just had to get their kicking boots on! Corey Jones was continuing his good form, Lui Coughlin was flashing in and out of the play, Lachie Costello on a number of occasions showed real pace and Jacob Gray in one of his rare performances down back looked at home.

The third quarter was the turning point.  By half time it was obvious that Hampton were on top, but the failure to kick goals was again letting the opposition into the game. The third started with another easy miss but when Will Crawford on the mark after the point marked the kick in, the team seemed to lift further.

Chris Perkins earned a hard free and kicked accurately and shortly after Corey Jones took a strong mark from a Ryan Leslie pass. A couple of minutes later, Dillon Melnjak, who had been playing well all day, passed to Corey he put through his second.  The Vultures were on the ropes chasing a 3.5 deficit leading into the last quarter.

The final term started with the skipper having three possessions and then a free kick in the first 30 seconds.  He set the standard for the boys and they kept the pressure on.  Goals to Will Crawford and Christian Carnovale and the icing on the good game played by Lachy Costello was the final goal of the day.

It really was a strong team performance against a highly fancied team that had inflicted a massive thrashing of their opponent last week.  The tight defence of the Rovers was impressive, only allowing the opposition 10 scoring shots after quarter time.  Joel Melnjak, Aussie Parker, Clinton Young, James Keys and Harry Crisp, not to mention Oscar Roberts all put in strong performances.

The Rovers are two from two and sit third on the ladder, undefeated with Ajax and Mazenod. Next up, it’s Monash Blues away at Monash University this Saturday (earlier 12:30pm start).

Hampton Rovers              1.3        2.9        6.14     9.16     70
Parkdale  Vultures           2.5        2.7        3.9        5.12     42
Best:   Roberts, Carnovale, O’Driscoll, Costello, Gray, Melnjak D
Goals:  Crawford 3, Carnovale 2, Jones 2, Perkins 1, Costello 1

It was another massive day at Trevor Barker Oval with around 90 at the Home Game Luncheon – that’s almost 200 people in two weeks. Saturday’s function was supported by match day sponsor Our Little Ray of Sunshine – located at 50 Station Street in Sandringham. All members and players can get an exclusive discount, so head down there and support those who support us!

Saturday was our annual ANZAC Luncheon, in conjunction with the Hampton RSL. Bill Morabito does a very competent job as MC and our bugler this year provided another haunting rendition of the Last Post and Reveille over the hushed crowd.  At lunch we had a representative of Legacy explain that it was Legacy’s 100th anniversary and the valuable work Legacy does in the community.  We look forward to a long and healthy relationship with the people at Hampton RSL.


Congratulations on the skipper Hayley Gould playing her 50th game and great to see team manager, assistant coach and recent mum Alana Graham make her return.  While our retired 2023 B&F winner  Jas Andros made a cameo appearance in her skipper’s 50th, just to ensure victory!  A pretty easy win really.

HR         0.0        7.10     9.10     13.16  94
MCC    0.1        1.1        1.1        1.1        7
Best      Price, Robertson, Jones , Morris, Darvell
Goals  Robertson 3, Miller 2, Cullin 2, Graham 2, Darvell 2, Jones 1, Price 1


Another strong performance by the young Rovers in division 1 of the VAFA under 19 competition. This time, disposing of Fitzroy by 85 points at the Boss. The Rovers are one of four teams unbeaten.

HR             4.4        9.8        13.12  20.16  136
Fitzroy        0.3        4.4        6.6        7.9        51
Best      Jenson-Muir, Seddon, Hall, Celantano B, Carrigan
Goals  Celantano B 4, Antonio 3, Kilburn 3, Jensen-Muir 2, Taranto 2, Celantano L 1, Seddon 1. Barnes 1, Grima 1, Rogacki 1, Delaney 1


Nick Jewell rosed to the occasion and played well in his 200th VAFA game.  Great to see his coach from his U19 premiership days address the players on the life and times of Nick Jewell at the Rovers.  That would have been a story and a half!  Overall though, a disappointing day for the boys particularly when you consider that about 15 of those playing had senior experience in 2023!

HR                         1.0        3.0        4.1        5.5        35
Parkdale            3.1        5.5        8.11     10.13  73
Best      Sharp, Deighton, Pavlou, Lay H, Jewell, Field
Goals   Somogyi 2, Sharp 1, Murnane 1, Allen 1


A good effort by the boys against the slick Old Xaverians U23’s.  Still, great to see the Rovers Thirds getting good numbers after the challenges of pre-season and a great vibe amongst the playing group!

HR         1.2        1.4        1.6        4.9        33

Xavs     3.2        5.6        8.8        10.10  70
Best      Merlo, Jackson, Miles, Smith, McCoy, White
Goals   Jackson 1, White 1, Folino 1, Smith

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