A glorious day greeted the girls and their families as we hosted our first home game for the season at the ‘Home of Football” – Castlefield Reserve.
Fittingly this Rd 2 encounter was a local affair as we faced off against our arch enemies (or soon to be) East Brighton Vampires….a team that had a comfortable 90 point victory in Round 1!!
The ceremony around the jumper presentation to the girls from East Sandy was Olympic like in terms of its grandeur and pageantry. The only downer was the fact it was a day game and the fireworks were only so so……seriously a massive Rovers welcome to Maegan Miller, Shae Raywood, Elisha Pickering and Tamsyn Higgins.
Jumpers donned, jewelry removed, phones confiscated and the general chit chat turned down to a dull roar and we were in the hands of the Coach Gareth Adams. His address was simple and to the point…work together, run to space and most importantly have fun. We then welcomed the expert stretching session with guest warm up trainer Justine Tuffley…..(as a mother of 5 boys under 14 I am sure she relished the quality time with our girls!!)
The ball aloft, the siren roared and we were into it….the mid-field battle was tight early with Sophie Lever, Greta Roberston, Lucy Grant and Mia Hanna all working super hard to give Rovers first use of the ball. We had significant input from our half back and half forward lines with Holly Moss, Kim Docking, and Ali Coyne the prime movers.
Our scoring efficiency when entering the forward half was terrific resulting in a great goal to Scarlet ‘Gull’ Adams. Our backline led superbly by Gabi Nicholl (who was on fire in the first quarter) proved to be impenetrable and the constant run of Tessa Beech, Eliza Planincic, and Lois Melvin repelled everything the Vampies threw at us.
Qtr Time Score
Rovers 1.1. 7 Vampires 0.0. 0
The Vampires were out for blood (see what I did there) in the second quarter and had our girls on the back foot scoring 2 early goals and dominating possession. To our girls’ credit the defensive efforts went up a notch and the tackling and harassment of Tayla Jones, Imogen Livitsanis, Makenzy Taylor and Amelia Stewart restricted them to only 3 more points for the quarter.
With a significant number on the bench, we were able to inject some fresh legs for the second quarter. Ava Hales willingly joined the fray and quickly showed that when she is available she will be a great asset for the side – prepared to take on the opposition, take a bounce or two and kick the ball long. Elisha Pickering started to get first touch on the ball playing in the ruck and the endeavor from Shae Raywood, Georgia Gleeson and Maegan Miller in their debut game for the Rovers was simply brilliant.
We went to the long break slightly down on the scoreboard but certainly up and about as a team.
Half Time Score
Rovers 1.1. 7 Vampires 2.3. 15
The third quarter saw a collective lift in effort from the entire team and we quickly gained the ascendancy led by Mia Hanna, Caity Schwarz, Jamie Mawkes and Jess Bowen. The level of skill displayed by the girls can only be considered outstanding with chains of passes by both foot and hand, strong over-head marking, running bounces and fierce tackling quickly becoming the signature trademarks of this team.
Goals to Greta Robertson (her second for the season) and Sophie Lever (her maiden goal) improved the scoreboard significantly and the defensive efforts from the back six restricted the Vampires to just 1 goal…….the tide was turning!!
3 Qtr Time Score
Rovers 3.2. 20 Vampires 3.3. 21
With everything to play for, the girls came out firing in the last quarter.
We were dominating in the middle and our run and carry across the board was breathtaking. When considering that most of our team were in their second ever game of footy……pretty impressive.
‘Gull’ Adams delivered an early goal of the year contender with sheer determination, breaking tackles, fending off would be tacklers and slotting it from deep in the pocket. Taking her haul to 3 for the season.
Jamie Mawkes also goaled for the first time as a Rover following an unrelenting attack on the ball and put the icing on the cake at the offensive end of the ground.
Down back, the mid field and defenders worked hard to simply smother every attacking foray by the Vamps restricting them to just 2 behinds for the last quarter.
The water duties of Tamsyn Higgins (registration kerfuffle meant Tamsyn missed this week!!) should not be underestimated in such a close game. Clearly one of the best water delivery performances observed at Castlefield for many years.
Deep into attack again, the final siren blew and we had taken our first victory for the season.
“Oh we do like to be beside the seaside….” was belted out in the middle of the ground with great gusto.
Well played girls…here’s to next week!!
Rovers 5.3. 33 Vampires 3.5. 23
(Click on any image to view the gallery)