Neither team had a full complement but the Rovers did have some super subs in Mitch & Harry Tuffley.
Strong Wind saw the majority of the play down one end.
Cassidy at full stretch, tapping to W Tuffley, to Howe, and on to Troy and it’s on.
In one spirited passage Wells tackled hard, the ball spilled out, great pickup from Wells, punted long to French and Palmer, Saints repelled the advance, Wells again advances the attack by hand to Howe, to Tuffley spinning out of tackles, booting forward, Randall brings the ball to ground, crumbed by Palmer who scores the first Goal. Exciting stuff.
Palmer looked dangerous up forward, banging off some windy shots. Some heavy work in the middle saw Troy and French spitting the ball out to Palmer going long to Randall. All the attack was with Rover. Any time the Saints looked like getting some movement out, the halfback line was staunch with Morris and Doyle setting up a solid wall. Good quarter. HR – 7 v St K – 0
Rover’s Boundary Umpire and Runner showing fine form as the Rovers machine starts up again. This quarter the Saints are more determined and march forward. Harris takes a fine mark, quick handball to Haydon who drives out of defence to the marking Palmer. Doyle, Cassidy, and Paino work together to stymie the next Saint’s onslaught. Wells strong shepherding for a lively M Tuffley clearance, as the Saints throw more at the Rovers. Doyle is an impassable object and takes several contested marks in defence. The Rovers marking tightens up and the Saints cant find a free man. Now Paino is a rock and St Kilda hopes are repeatedly dashed, until finally their forays find their first goal.
The Tuffley’s working together by hand in close are looking sharp with pace before half time. HR – 7 v St K – 6
Randall into the ruck, Cassidy to Full Forward, Paino to Half Forward, Palmer to Fullback comfirming a tall spine for the team. Troy extracts the ball from a scrimmage, delivering to H Tuffley, to Doyle, to Paino, to W Tuffley, back to Doyle. It’s serious work in there. Troy emerges with the plum on the 50 and bombs it into the forward line, bouncing, end of over end, through for a goal!! Next passage sees Randall tap out into space, Wells charging at the 50/50 ball with courage takes a heavy knock. Doyle receives from W Tuffley and goes for a run, bouncing before driving into attack. W Tuffley again fleet of foot sliding around the boundary line. Haydon definite in defence. Morris doing some tough work. King takes a solid mark. Now the Tuffleys are gang tackling! St Kilda try to clear but cant get out, the pressure is constantly applied by Rovers, manning up and tackling. A couple of Rovers points scored. Intelligent work by Wells against the boundary, French is shepherding for Paino’s boot. Randall to Tuffley, willing the ball forward. Morris wrestling free. HR – 15 v St K – 6
Hampton are under attack! The wind and the Saints are coming.
The Saints score two points in quick succession. Rovers can’t get the ball out of the 50. It’s a mess. Tuffleys, Paino, and Morris stand up. Randall is winning the ruck contests yet the Saints are pressing and score a goal. There is one point in it with half the quarter to go and St Kilda have their tails up!! Now Haydon stands up. M Tuffley pushes forward, King gets busy and the Rovers work the ball out of defence. It’s an intense game of short metres. Haydon repels. Palmer repels. Morris is strong. Doyle working with W Tuffley into the spaces. M Tuffley head over ball making important gains. Soaking up time. Which team wants it more? The ball is stuck on the half way. Tired players throwing themselves into the battle. Doyle emerges with it and steals forward, W Tuffley is courageous. Paino takes a crucial defensive grab and it’s Fulltime.!! Rovers by a point!
Coaches awards: W Tuffley, Doyle, Haydon, Palmer, Paino