Well what a difference a week makes in football. Pouring rain and a howling wind for week 1, sees us beaten by 6 goals. This week bathed in sunshine, sweat on the brow, and a narrow 3 point loss.
We travelled to East Malvern on Sunday and were greeted by glorious conditions. Stanley Grose reserve is a smaller ground, which last year didn’t suit our running play. This year, playing a different structure, suited the boys perfectly.
Ollie F and Kaden K were our captains for game and after a good warm up, led the boys over to speak with the umpires and have their boots checked.
We bounced out of the gates and looked sharp early. The boys got off to a flyer in the 1st quarter. Will S was pumped kicking our 1st goal. They came in quick secession with Benny W, Huddy and Geordie all getting a major on the board. Benny H’s tackling and Ryan P’s smothering were a highlight through the 1st half. Mitch G was moved up the ground to CHB this week and continued his great form.
The 2nd term saw us extend our advantage. Our marking reputation is continuing to grow. Benny W and Hugo G took some ripping marks early Harry BG was unlucky to not hold onto to a few big flyers, which would’ve given him a chance to score.To see Jack W take a strong mark and then composure to hit the hotspot was great and resulted in Kian’s 1st goal for the game. Freddie S continued on from his great form last week and was getting plenty of quality posessions through the middle. Huddy banged in another and we were looking the goods at the main break.
We wanted to keep the momentum up in the 3rd quarter, however the East Malvern boys started to give us the slip in the contest and they pushed closer on the scoreboard with 4 goals. Leo R and Ollie F were giving us some lock in pressure and James H started to show us his renowned dash off halfback. Sandro was throwing himself at every contest with little regard for his opponent. Mikey made a stellar return from injury, selling some candy as he balked his way out of defense. At the final change nothing separated the sides.
Mitch R and Huddy ‘s marking were giving us super targets all over the ground. Ryan P still had plenty of run in him and Kaden was starting to get busy up forward. Not many games go by without Maxy getting on the scoreboard. He booted a great goal to put us in front by a nostril. James P was on a wing in the last and got the ball moving forward. With a minute on the clock and down by less than a kick, in entered Kian. As cool as you can be he slotted a long bomb ( best kick I’ve witnessed from him) and it sailed through. It wasn’t enough unfortunately and a quick play out of the middle saw East Malvern kick one as the siren sounded.
Was extremely proud the way the boys played as a unit and like all good Hampton Rovers teams, never gave in.
We face East Brighton back at home this Sunday. Enjoy Anzac Day and spare a minute or two in explaining to the boys the significance of the day, rather than just cheering on the Pies to a big win.
Go Hampton Rovers – best mates!