Hampton Rovers: 3.3-21
After a strong win over Kew Bears in Round 1, the Development Squad were looking to take their good form into a tough clash against Hampton Rovers on their home deck. Hampton convincingly took the Under 19s to the cleaners in the same game last season, so the boys came out looking to make a statement to them and the rest of the competition. Conditions were looking dire with rain and hail bucketing down as the team arrived, but this wouldn’t dampen the spirit heading into the clash.
The team came out strong in the first quarter and had inside 50 after inside 50 but failed to convert our scoring shots peppering multiple opportunities to be 2.7 at the first break instead of 7.2. After coming together at quarter time, the boys came out hard looking to put the foot on the throttle. Key forwards Will ‘Hops’ Hellier and Ashan ‘Ferrari’ Wijayakumara were strong targets taking grab after grab as the wind kept the ball swirling around in the air. Hops kicked a particularly memorable goal on the run in the pocket from a tight angle and Chris ‘Bowling Ball’ King had no regard for anyone’s safety as he launched one from 60 out that swirled through the big sticks which got the boys up and about. Our defence was strong all day with Golikov and Brown providing nice run off the half back line. Byron ‘Train Delay’ Gunn performed solidly, barely seeing any of the pill down back which showcased the strength of the back six as we went into the main break having kept Hampton 0.1 to our 6.7.
Tensions started to flare after the halfway mark as one particular (and rather short) Hampton Rovers player took on Lachie Dowling after having tried to take out previous captains Rob and Will earlier in the game. The boys had a scrappy third quarter as the foot was taken off the pedal which showed as Hampton kept us to one point for the quarter whilst they kicked two majors.
After a three-quarter time rouse up from Coach Cuddles and Assistant Lachlan ‘Beanstalk’ McKinnon the fellas came out firing and had a 10-goal victory in our sights. Rob Rae provided excellent use of the ball around the ground whilst newcomer Zac ‘Fit Conor’ Comley weaved his way through to hit target after target. Oscar ‘Buzza/The O Show/Big O’ Sargeant lead hard all day and Hops popped up again at a crucial moment after our Ferrari broke down with a sickness in the third quarter to showcase his skills by kicking a couple majors.
It was fantastic to see such a strong finish to the game after a sloppy third quarter performance to cement our spot at the top of the ladder after two rounds.
Goal Kickers: W. Hellier 3, A. Wijayakumara 3, O. Sargeant, C. King, T. Golz, R. Rae, D. McNamara, J. Growse
Best Players: R. Rae, Z. Comley, O. Sargeant, W. Hellier, T. Golz, W. Penhalluriack