After a couple of defeats in as many outings the Rovers were desperate for a win this week against the Waverley Park Hawks at Boss James Reserve.
With several players out injured or only available for part of the game and a fill in team manager, whose previous efforts with Hampton sporting teams have been dubious at best, they were going to have to put in a huge effort to come away with the spoils.
Much to the relief of flamboyant Rovers goal umpire, Nick Tuppen, conditions were as good as you could hope for this time of year.
The game started brightly for the Madeline Miles led Rovers with Ruckwoman Lily McEniry supplying several hit outs to advantage to get the Rovers on the front foot.
On defence Jessica Hart made a crunching tackle and soon after she launched the ball into the forward line where Juliet Moss capitalised and slotted the first goal of the game.
Abbey Hickey also dished out some defensive pain, Zoe Hewlett was heavily involved up front and in the backline Emma Bloom defended the Hampton goal line with great determination.
A brave attempted bounce from Nadia Stockwell, coming away from goal, provided a nervous moment though she did well to clean up afterwards and ensure the Hawks did not score late in the quarter.
Josh, pointing to the example set by Jessica, asked for more defensive starch in the 2nd quarter.
After the restart Evie Hall showed great skill to keep the ball in play early before the Hawks took advantage of the wind at their backs and applied consistent attacking pressure that eventually resulted in a behind and then a goal to briefly take the lead, though the Rovers goal umpire later confessed it was a 50/50 decision to pay the goal.
Perhaps sensing they’d been hard done by, the Rovers took matters into their own hands and they replied with 2 behinds to Madeline Miles and a long range effort from Sienna Block before the former broke 2 tackles and scored a well deserved goal.
Lily McEniry made several important clearing kicks, one of which was expertly marked by Jessica Hart over her shoulder and some good defence from Tess Ilcyznski ensured that the Hawks had no opportunity to hit back before half time.
During the break young supporter Ned Tuppen performed some extensive quality testing on the oranges as Josh implored the team to put in a 110% for the rest of the game to make up for the depleted roster.
The message appeared to have hit home with Maddeline Miles linking with Juliet Moss who scored her 2nd goal of the game in the first passage of play after the break. From there though things got pretty ugly as the Hawks went on a run that saw them score 15 unanswered points and take the lead going into the final quarter.
Rare highlights for the Rovers came from Vivienne Buckley, Ava O’Keefe and Evie Hall and if it wasn’t for these the Rovers could have found themselves down more than a behind.
In the final period Olive Tuppen worked hard in the back line with multiple possessions and the ball transitioned much better through the midfield of Madeline Miles, Ava O’Keefe, Jessica Hart and Vivienne Buckley and into the forward line where Tess Ilcyznski managed to sneak a crucial behind to level the scores.
Late in the game the Hawks swung onto attack and if it wasn’t for some great defensive work from Nadia Stockwell, Emma Bloom, Olive Tuppen and Lily McEniry right up to the final siren the Hawk’s would surely have won.
Despite both teams being disappointed not to have claimed a win the draw seemed a fitting result in the end.
Emma Bloom, Jessica Hart, Juliet Moss and Abbey Hickey claimed the awards this week – well done to them all.