Coming off the high of last week’s win the Rovers faced a formidable opponent in the form of a Dingley Dingoes side who had only tasted defeat once this season.
In much better conditions for footy the Rovers supporters wondered if their team could rewrite history and steal one back from the Dingoes?
All the early attention was on the state of the ball which was flatter than a mashed cat. Having successfully found a replacement, Manager Kylie Jones unleashed a torp Alex Jesaulenko would have been proud of, as she despatched the new footy to the centre square.
What followed was a ferocious first quarter that set the tone for physicality for the match as the Rovers put hit after hit on their much-vaunted opposition.
The Dingoes though, class side that they are, weren’t easily rattled and despite being roughed up across the field managed to register 2 goals to zero prior to the first siren.
The defensive intensity continued in the 2nd quarter, much to the delight of the Rovers fans, with Matilda Clarkson, Madeline Miles and captain Jessica Hart making more crunching tackles. Again though the Dingoes though responded with a brace of goals and behinds to take a handy lead into the halftime break.
There was no respite in the 3rd quarter with 3 more goals registered by the ruthless Dingley attack. With Sienna Block and Olive Tuppen influential in the middle of the ground and Nadia Stockwell enjoying a run in the forward line, the Rovers threatened to score late in the period but couldn’t quite convert their chances.
Stand in coach Matt, who did a great job rallying the troops throughout the match, laid down the challenge for the 4th quarter, to finish stronger than they began the game.
The response was impressive with the Rovers dominating territory and possession. As Amelia Lees carved up in midfield Lola Davis went close to scoring before Bianca Stewart finally got the Rovers on the board with a behind. More muscle in the midfield and defensive line courtesy of Abbie Hickey, Tess Ilcyznski, Juliet Moss and Lily Jones kept the previously rampant Dingoes scoreless and Hampton deservedly won the final stanza.
Make no mistake that, despite the final score line, this was a great Rovers performance and another step forward in their development, a fact I hope the players recognise.
Zoe Hewlett, the two Matildas and Emma Bloom received this week’s awards off the back of strong all round performances.