A gloomy, overcast sky greeted the Hampton Rovers Under 18 Girls as they arrived at Boss James Reserve for the local derby against their old foes, the East Brighton Vampires. This was a chance for the girls to win back to back games for the first time this season and as they walked into the changing rooms, their faces radiating steely determination, it was pretty obvious the Vamps were in for an uncomfortable day.
From the first bounce it quickly became clear the Rovers girls had come to play; their desire for the Sherrin only matched by their determination not to lose. Annie used her athleticism to quickly get on top of her opponent as Bella provided drive and run out of the centre square. Eliza didn’t shy away from the rough stuff and Shae and Katy showed a resolve to link up and roam the wings all day.
Down back, Bec set the tone early with her continually ferocious attack on the ball as Tessa and Tamsyn provided an impassable wall on the last line of defence. Across half back, Meaghan and Kim provided run and rebound as they repelled attack after attack, Buddy holding it all together as a tower of competitive strength at centre half back.
We dominated the play in the first quarter but struggled to convert that onto the scoreboard, resulting in only a slim lead at quarter time.
In the second quarter the Rovers again started well. Sophie continued her strong return from injury and combined well with Jasmine to provide a target across the half forward line. Annika moved well across the back line and Alex went into the middle and showed that size doesn’t matter as she continued to tackle, hard, anyone who dared cross her path.
As half time approached the Rovers squandered their chances while the Vamps made the most of theirs, resulting in a three point lead to the visitors going into the long break.
The third quarter opened with the Rovers showing they weren’t going to let this one slip away. Across half forward, Greta marked everything that came her way as Ali continued her run of good form by providing a mobile target in the forward half. On the flanks, Molly and Lilly continually generated forward pressure as they set up multiple scoring opportunities with their creative ball use. Elisha provided a strong target up forward and Tilly showed herself to be the most dominant forward on the ground by booting two goals.
Heading into the final quarter the game was the Rovers to lose but they quickly deflated any flickering hopes the Vamps may have had with another dominant display and when Shae curled a goal through to put us thirteen points up with three minutes to go the girls knew they were home.
A special mention needs to be made of Steph, who ran her heart out, continued knocking up possessions and putting her body on the line for her teammates all day. In what was a truly dominant display she was clearly the best player on the ground and a worthy winner of the match ball celebrating the great work of the RCD Foundation,
As always, a big thank you to all the parents for their help and support with the team especially those who were tasked with match day duties. Special mention must also be made of Sal and Pete for making everything run smoothly and Chris and Pickers, the real brains trust of the team.
In what was a great win the girls should be incredibly proud of their efforts and the development they continue to show week after week.
Now for three in a row!