After a few weeks being short on numbers, it was great to welcome back close to a full complement of players and a big welcome back to those that had been exploring Europe, Asia or even the snow in recent weeks.
A scheduling snafu meant a major delay to the start of our game at headquarters but the girls put the extra hour of pre-game time to great use ensuring the whole team had their hair braided and sporting RCD ribbons in support of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation.
In a somewhat lacklustre 1st quarter, neither team really looked like scoring as the game lapsed into an Auskick style scratch match with bunches of up to 30 players following the ball around. Coach Adams made some deft rotations with the bench and Lucy slotted the first goal to steady the ship.
Our defence, led (much to her surprise) by Sophie with outstanding support from Gabi, Georgia and Greta kept the girls from East Malvern to just one behind for the quarter.
After hitting the deck hard in a tough tackle Ali Coyne bounced up and took her free kick but was soon heading to the interchange bench in a great deal of discomfort. Unfortunately, Ali had broken her collarbone and we will miss her skill, speed, footy smarts and courage for the remainder of the season. Get well soon Ali.
The second quarter continued being a scrappy encounter with the majority of the game being played between the 50 metre arcs. Maegan and Phoebe were getting first use in the ruck contests and our midfield group led by Jaida, Mia, Kim and Shae were all working hard to get the ball forward. Tayla managed to snag a goal in what was the only highlight of the quarter.
The back six continued their strong work keeping East Malvern scoreless for the quarter. Holly was inspired and tackling anything that moved. Ally and Tamsyn were running all quarter and Tessa was a rock rebounding everything off the half back line. Ava played a nice little cameo before dashing off at half time to play her premier league soccer game….good to have you back Ava.
Half Time Score
East Malvern 0 1 1
Hampton 2 2 14
The half time break had some sort of effect on our girls as they came out firing in the 3rd quarter. The level of skill on display was outstanding with multiple passages of play where the girls moved the ball from one end of the field to the other by hand and foot without the East Malvern girls getting near it. Makenzy was relentless, Ciara was proving a great target up front, Amelia was marking everything that came near her and stopping East Malvern’s forward attacks, Imi was successfully testing the physical limits of a 40kg person tackling a 60kg person!!!
Elisha kicked her second goal of the season and Tayla her second for the game to extend the lead further and give us a comfortable buffer.
The final quarter got under way and the girls were determined to leave a lasting impression on the Boss for their last home game for the season. We dominated play for the quarter and Holly playing her best game of the year, was in absolutely everything – clearances, tackles, kicks, marks – there was nothing she couldn’t do.
Every superhero needs a sidekick and welcome to the show Caitlin. Caity absolutely owned the forward arc and was an unstoppable force marking everything in sight, locking the ball in with relentless pressure and being rewarded by kicking 2 great goals. We peppered the goals kicking another 6 behinds for the quarter proving that we can be very damaging in attack.
Once again there were brilliant passages of play with contested marks, switches of play, 40 metre passes by foot and lots of 1 percenters like shepherds, tackles and blocks.
The defence was outstanding keeping East Malvern to just 1 goal for the entire game.
East Malvern 1 4 10
Hampton 6 11 47
A great all round team effort creating 17 scoring shots and keeping the opposition to just 5.
The song was sung with great gusto in the rooms after the game – it had been a while between drinks so great reward for the girls.
As Gareth said, this is the way we want to play for our last 2 games of the season.