Rovers go down to Ajax

Both the Seniors and Reserves lost their round six encounters against Ajax, while the U19s and Senior Women recorded strong victories.

After a tight loss last week, it was a disappointing 46-point loss against Ajax this week, who have come down from Premier B and were playing their first game at Albert Park for the season. The boys didn’t seem to be on from the start and while Ajax had the benefit of the breeze in the first quarter, Hampton squandered some opportunities up forward, with the opposition making the most of theirs.

With Jamie Delaney playing the small forward role well with a goal early from a great tackle and then late in the quarter his bullet pass hit Liam O’Driscoll lace out at CHF and he didn’t miss.  The Ajax mids seemed to be on top and they were in control at the centre clearances.

The Rovers started the second term well and when Lachy Costello hit Will Crawford at the 10 minute mark, it reduced the margin to just one goal and it was game on.  Ajax only managed one goal for the quarter, a coast to coaster, where Hampton’s backs were caught out of position.  The Rovers responded quickly when Delaney passed to Chris Perkins who delivered to Lachy Cairns for a set shot.  Lachy kicked truly and at the main break the Ajax lead was 8 points.

After the break, the Rovers momentum halted.  Ajax with the breeze banged on 3 unanswered goals to Hampton’s couple of points and the lead looked dangerous.  The ball couldn’t be controlled out of the centre and with both Hugos, Garrow and Lay,  rotating with Liam O’Driscoll in the ruck, the taps weren’t the issue it was just the Ajax midfielders seemed more desperate for the ball and time and time again pushed the ball forward.  The Rovers backs were under pressure, Oscar Roberts was controlling his man at CHB and Aussie Parker was playing well but at times it seemed that the more experienced Ajax forwards were using their strength well against our backs.  Rovers’ disposal from the backline was at times not to our advantage and the number of contested and uncontested marks Ajax were taking up forward was growing.

Before the game, the coach advised that Ajax’s two key forwards had kicked 42 goals between them.  VDS was assigned the job and at three quarter time he had held him to 1 goal and that was a snap in the first couple of minutes of the first quarter.  VDS continued his tight play in the last and while his opponent did get one more goal he was clearly beaten on the day.  VDS was clearly Hampton’s best.  On the negative however was the last quarter.  The Rover stopped and Ajax kept running and they gradually got on top all over the field.  The loose men running forward when they had the ball gave them plenty of options and as we were allowing them to play the game on their terms it ended up being a relatively easy win.

The Rovers hold their spot in the top four, one win behind Parkdale and Ajax. Next up we face another challenge in that the opposition, PEGS are only 4 points behind us on the ladder.

It’s another big home game this Saturday against PEGS at Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham.  This will be the first of a number of player reunions for 2024.  This week it’s Past Players and Supporters Day which has been one of the biggest luncheons of the year in recent times. We ask all supporters and past players to get on board and be part of what is going to be a great year for the Rovers.  Bookings are open for lunch through the website here or directly through Gary Nashy.

AJAX                     4.5        5.7        8.8        13.13                  91
HR                         2.2        4.5        4.7        6.9                        45
Best:    VDS, Parker, Perkins, Delaney, Lay, Cairns
Goals: Delaney 2, Cairns 1, Jones 1, Crawford 1, O’Driscoll 1


HR                         2.5        4.7        4.9        6.10     46
Hawthorn         0.3        1.5        2.6        2.6        18
Best:    Morris, Dingeldei, Naylor, Cameron, Daneil-Reid
Goals: Graham 2, Kavanagh 1, Robertson 1, Smith 1, Daniel-Reid 1,

HR                       2.7        5.11     11.12  12.13  85
OM’s                    0.0        4.1        5.1        9.6        60
Best:    Hall, Ziesing, Jenson-Muir, Somogyi, Seddon
Goals: Kilburn 3, Ockerby 2, Barnes 2, Rogacki 2, Hall 1, Grima 1, Somogyi 1.

AJAX                     6.1        8.6        12.7     14.8     92
HR                         0.4        2.4        3.4        5.6        36
Best:    Ebbott, Raghdo, Allen, Garrow, Klein, McKenzie
Goals: Jackson 1, Carmeni 1, Hug 1, Dartnell 1, Lyon 1

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