This week saw us in the “twilight” fixture against East Brighton at their ground in Moorabbin West. This timeslot had us waiting around all day until 3.00pm until it was time to switch the heads into football mode. We were back to a full complement of players which makes the rotation more frequent to give all the boys plenty of game time. The game was to be Ben W 50th and he was also named Captain for the game. I’m sure you’ll agree that his first 50 games have been completed with skill and poise.
We also recognized the Sir Doug Nicholls indigenous round alongside the broader AFL community. Ben W and Mitch R read out a short message about what the round means and how the junior footballers acknowledge and understand the significance. Well done boys.
Conditions were cold and windy at ground level. The ground was quite small, so the wind was going to play a major factor in the result. It was important to get the message right on how to play into the breeze as well as with the breeze. We lost the toss and started kicking into a four to five goal wind. We held up well as a group and conceded only two goals for the term and more importantly snagged one ourselves through some great work by Max L to smother and Ben H to pounce and score the first of his two goals for the game. Harry W started well, racking up possessions and Zac M was delivering the pressure acts asked for by tackling hard. James H was manning up well and Oscar M came on mid-way through the term and kept up his good form off half back and wing.
It was our turn to get on the end of the monster breeze in the second term and we did the right thing and got in front on the scoreboard with three majors. Giddy Z was put into the middle with strict instructions to gather and kick long. He has an outstanding quarter and kicked one of our goals. Zac M and Ollie S were also instrumental in tackling and getting the ball our way, whenever East Brighton tried to go forward into the wind. Harry B and Ben H did what their height expects of them, roving brilliantly and kicking two further goals.
The third term would see us drop off and the breeze pick up. We just seemed to get knocked off the ball in the 50/50 contests and when we needed to look behind and be aware of the opposition setting up in space, we just looked out of position and lost. Wes and Jake S were trying to use their run to create opportunities, but it was very tough working into the breeze. The positive was that East Brighton also didn’t capitalize too strongly, only scoring the three goals. We also had Harry BG and Mikey P doing the important things down back and stemming the forward flow. Ryan P and Ollie E were throwing their bodies at the ball every time they got near it. We were chasing tail in m Keegan was lifting his work rate in getting up the ground to help the under-pressure backline.
The last change we were determined not to let the wind do it for us. East Brighton just showed some more run and composure and we were unable to create enough opportunities to get over the line. Charlton T was our only goal scorer in the final term. Hudson J was still full of run and getting the taps our way late in another stellar performance. We unfortunately ran out of minutes and fell 16 points short.
This week we take on South Melbourne Districts at Castlefield. Hopefully we get back to doing things right after a solid training session and more learning on Wednesday.
Go Hampton Rovers – best mates
Wayno – Coach