With only 14 confirmed starting on Sat. night and 6 of those scheduled to also play Div 3s (also struggling with numbers) it was not looking promising to even field a side. The call went out for reinforcements and in the true style of the club’s comradeship the call was answered. We had a confirmed start of 19 with the possibility of more to come. A rare luxury to have a bench! But with some big lads in the U15 we had to find some protected space for our U13 helpers. A very strategic decision was made to put the U13s in the forward pockets…
Qtr 1 hadn’t even started and 2 more reinforcements from the U14s. 3 on the bench! Vampires got the centre clearance but our strong backline soon sent it back out where it was run up the middle and a good switch from Sam M. to Hamish, rovered by Taj it was sent into the safe hands of Haydos who converted to put our first major on the board. Not long later a very similar run from the midfield and this time Taj snapped our second goal in a matter of minutes. The boys were out of the gates on fire and playing some text book good football. Each time it went in to the backline someone was there to bomb it back out. Another fill in James Hare was the lucky recipient of those long balls out of the back line. A big run with 3 bounces and into our forward line in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately we had already taken a hit with an injury to Hugh Harris and at the first break we were 8 points up. 2.5.17 (Rovers) 1.3.9 (Vampires).
Qtr 2 we saw some very similar play by the boys with a good switch from Oska to Josh and to Harry T. but the Vampires came into second quarter with some very disciplined footy. Their defence had picked up a level and they would run it down the line in numbers. Once inside their 50 they kept 2 – 3 players just outside their 50. Despite our defence managing to get it out it was met by their wall and they would send it back in it. We put two more majors on the board with Taj and Haydos again but the Vampires put 5 and at the main break we were now the ones down 8pts. Our bench also took another hit with Hamish out with a knock to the head. 4.8.32 Rovers – 6.4.40 Vampires.
Qtr 3 saw much of the same play as we saw in the second. The boys were playing good football our U14s in Nick and Jake were getting amongst the action with Nick taking a good mark at the 50 mtr mark. James I. seemed to be everywhere as did the Tuffley twins, with Harry putting a major on the board. But with that wall still there and a few brain fades by a few too many boys getting sucked into the contest again. By 3 qtr time the Vampires had stretched the lead to 13 pts. 6.10 46 Rovers – 9.5.59 Vampires
Qtr 4 and it was nearly time to turn the lights on with dark clouds looming. By this stage the boys had a cheer squad from their other Div players who had come for support. Another example of the club’s spirit. This must have been what the boys needed. They lifted in defence, in the mid-field and in the forward. Oska, Sam F and Sam Mc. must have taken 15 marks in the backline and conceded only one goal. A couple of shots at goal saw some near misses but eventually Harry T put two more on the board Dan C. and Aiden putting one each. It came down to the wire and we went out winners by 7pts. The boys sang the twp songs loud and clear!
A huge thanks to the U13s Taj, Mitch and Harry, the u14s Jake and Nick and our fellow U15s Fynnie D, Eddie D and James H. we could not have done it without them!