An away trip to the seaside oval of St Kilda City JFC had Hampton facing a difficult opponent who have had some destructive victories this season.
Jack C and Sonny were our captains, with St Kilda City winning the toss and going with the wind in the first quarter. Without a bench again and bringing in a new player (Ashton) we were forced to move some of our big fellas in Chris and Magnus down back to combat St Kilda’s tall forward line. In the first quarter, our defenders went man on man and held strong in reducing St Kilda’s scoring to 3 goals which were all kicked from long range. Harry got us on the goal scoring sheet with a great running goal.
In the second quarter with the wind, we started linking up well with Javier winning the ruck and delivering the ball down to our mids in Jade, Tom, Fletcher and Harry, while Dan S was providing run on the wing and getting first to the ball. The honours were shared with 1 goal each as Fletcher scored his first for the game and fifth for the season. We unfortunately played a little wide this quarter and didn’t capitalise on the wind.
In the third quarter, our pressure game lifted especially down back with Chris holding strong against St Kilda City’s key forward, Jade playing an important role at CHB, Magnus close checking and finding some touches. Our forwards ran hard with Sonny holding the ball in our area and applying plenty of tackles, Jack C being our focal point at CHF and mids / rucks continued to win plenty of the ball.
In the final quarter, we went direct and our running / pressure game was a delight to watch. Theeran was released into the forward line and scored his first goal for the year. Baxter moved onto the wing and also scored and when Jack C kicked a captain’s goal from long range, we had another nail biter on our hands. Bradley got angry which meant he got some important touches across the half forward line. In fact the harassment by all Hampton players across the field gave St Kilda City no space and time, which resulted in numerous entries into our forward line, reducing the third quarter lead of 18 points to less than a goal.
You wouldn’t believe it but the siren, YET AGAIN, came just a little early as an upset was on the cards. That’s 4 games in a row we have gone down by less than a single goal. Talking to opposition coaches post matches, they all mention about our linking up play. Sharing of the football by handballing in close and releasing to a player on the outside brings more players into the game which is showing to be difficult to play against. It means the boys are listening (apart from not playing to coaches side of the ground in the third quarter today) and more players are getting more of the football which is our main focus of the season.
I know all the boys just want to yell the Hampton song out, which they deserve to do. I’m sure it’s only just around the corner. Well played ALL.
Hampton Rovers 6 4 40
St Kilda City 7 3 45
Goals: Harry x2, Jack C, Fletcher, Theeran, Baxter
Captains for round: Jack C and Sonny
Outstanding contribution: Jack C
Guts and determination: Theeran
Team goals award: Chris
Coaches award: Magnus
50 games award: Harry and Fletcher