After that game, we’d all agree the season has arrived. On a beautiful Mother’s Day, we headed to Castlefield for our round 3 match against AJAX. Some of our parents will remember we AJAX @ Boss James in the final game last year. We always seem to have great contests and this one was no exception. You’ll have to forgive me on some of the details on the game due to me being totally consumed with the contest. The notes are a little light on.
James H was our captain for the day and won the toss. We got jumped early as AJAX were great in their set up and it took our boys a little bit to pick up the style of play. The second half of the quarter, we were much better and stemmed the flow of their scoring. Benny W kicked our first and it wouldn’t be his last. They had some big boys throwing their weight around and we didn’t shirk any contest. Matt, Zac and Jake were showing the opposition they wouldn’t be intimidated, throwing themselves in. We spoke at quarter time that it wasn’t a complete disaster and that we were right in it. Freddie was our best for the quarter.
The second term saw our boys rally brilliantly. Our tackling pressure and support for one another will always have us in games if not in front. Harry W took one of the best marks I’ve seen him take. Our teamwork was seeing us win more of the ball through the middle and the run was really starting to improve. Wes, Ollie and Oscar were a major part of us getting back in the contest. Harry B kicked two big goals and Charlton slotted another and we were within a kick at the main break.
The vibe in the rooms as we ran out for the third term was electric. The boys are really starting to respond to positive and enthusiastic direction. Keegan and Huddy dominated the ruck duel. Harry BG and Max were beginning to find space and each got some important possessions. Mitch and Ollie E were becoming important in their leadership on the field and taking some great contested marks. Mikey was using his strength to bust open packs and clear the ball to space for us to run onto. Wes showed great courage and was unfortunately downed off the ball. James and Ryan were a bit down on the day but late in the quarter were busting a gut to win the ball.
It was all square going into the last. Stress levels of both players, coaches and support staff was at the highest level. I’m sure the supporters were equally as anxious during the final stages. Close finishes and certain types of effort is what make the game so special and enthralling. Benny H and Gideon were not about to let it slip. Huddy kicked a goal, then AJAX got it back. We were three points down with not long left. Benny H kicked from CHF to our hotspot and Keegan copped it from both sides in the marking contest. Put his body on the line and was deserved a free kick. While dazed, Benny W was hovering to take the kick. He went through the greatest and worst of emotions in the space of 30 seconds when the siren sounded. He missed the first shot, but only did so due to the opposition illegally going over the mark. He rectified the replay kick and nailed it for glory.
Victory was great. Beaumaris Sharks await us this week before we know our opponents for the remainder of the season. So far, so good. I’m immensely proud thus far and look forward to those moments continuing.
Go Hampton Rovers – best mates.
Coach – Wayne ‘Wayno’ Powell