A light breeze and crisp football conditions presented themselves at Castlefield on Sunday. Captains for the day were Harry Gibbins & Jonty McKimm both boys loved the opportunity and played their best games for the year.
The afternoon start suited the boys, the coaches could see in the warm-up they were raring to go. With a late withdrawal at the ground (How good was Jack coming to the footy from his sick bed to ensure his teammates weren’t short) we employed the services of Ben and Hudson who after a successful U10 match joined the team. The start of the game was again very tight and we felt we were in for a tough contest. The Rovers were switched on and the forward pressure was clear, Jonty was leading the way with second and third efforts, while Harry Lewis showed his drive getting the ball out of the bottom of packs and providing great clearances as he teamed with Fletch who was also busy in the clinches. Josh Haines enjoyed his quarter in the ruck also ensuring the ball went our way and scoring a major in the quarter. It was a hard fought opening, Hudson was first to break through in the goal square. Soon followed by a great goal by Dan Beaven who kicked a great goal from the hot spot, his first for the year!
The Rovers teamwork in the second quarter was again superb with all players moving the ball very quickly and often finding their opposition players wrong footed. Harry Gibbins was a General across the half back line and seemed to be using his own footy, he was taking the game on and breaking the line regularly in the second term. Tom was on the highlight reel in the quarter taking a strong mark and quickly getting the ball to Angus who kicked his first of 2 for the quarter and 4 for the day!!!
A great first half and a few changes for the boys on the field, Nick White had a run on the wing and provided the chase of the day as his opponent streamed into their forward line with eyes lit up only to be tackled by Nick and providing a turnover. Josh Cameron was again at his best with his silky skills on display and kicking the ball to advantage with great frequency. Our game plan was again working with all boys moving the ball quickly and getting it to the hot spot, Tom got rewarded for his effort where he took a strong mark and kicked a 6 pointer. Angus had a day out and registered another major in the third again from the great team play getting the ball to the top of the square. While the forward pressure and scoring is great, the back line players were again vigilant all day. Oscar Kelk lifted a gear as a late vampires run increased their ball use in our last line of defence however Oscar was not having a bar of it stopping a certain goal with a big pressure tackle in the square.
The Boys spirits were up in the last and we committed to seeing the game out with the intensity demonstrated for the first 3 quarters. Harry Lewis paid respect to Malcolm Blight ripping a ball out of a pack to drive a huge Torpedo punt to the top of the square allowing Zain to run onto it a score a goal. Ben Hemmingway showed great courage and had a great quarter ensuring the ball stayed in the forward line and Jonty McKimm took mark of the year! He ran back with the flight of the ball from a clearing Vampire kick and took an overhead mark Jeremy Howe would have been proud of…. Great stuff Jonty!
The boys are playing great footy and beyond the scoreboard they get more and more impressive each week as they work and play as a team.
Fun was the order of the day, a big home style rendition of the song to complete a great game of Rovers footy.
Hampton Rovers 9.7 (61) def. East Brighton Vampires 0.1 (1)