GNFL: Rovers respond to pressure from Chapman Valley in round nine

Derek GoforthGeraldton Guardian
Rovers’ Roland Drummond and Chapman Valley’s Mitch Nesbit tussle for possession.
Camera IconRovers’ Roland Drummond and Chapman Valley’s Mitch Nesbit tussle for possession. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

The pressure was on even before the first kick in the match between Rovers and Chapman Valley on Saturday, with Rovers in desperate need of a win after back-to-back defeats against Railways and Brigades.

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The last time Rovers lost two on the trot was back in 2018 and they responded to the challenge, defeating Chapman Valley 26.13 (169) to 7.6 (48).

Both sides were fielding young teams, with Rovers putting out seven colts for the game, two of whom were making their league debuts.

Rovers’ Clayton Dann and Tom Warr
Camera IconRovers’ Clayton Dann and Tom Warr Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Chapman Valley coach Paul Drennan seemed quietly optimistic despite his team coming off a heavy loss against Northampton in round eight, saying: “we have lots of young lads playing today,” and they were “always optimistic pre-game”.

Rovers coach Ian Comben spoke with confidence despite the two losses.

“We have a very young side today,” he said. “We still have a good spread of experience.

“I expect the team will perform to expectation and get over the line.”

The club’s junior players certainly lived up their coach’s expectations, with Jack Eastough scoring five goals and Clay Azevedo picking up another four.

Chapman Valley were brave and held their own for the first quarter, matching Rovers goal for goal until the 20 minute mark.

CV’s Sam Solomon and Rovers’ Jaimon Alone
Camera IconCV’s Sam Solomon and Rovers’ Jaimon Alone Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Despite a plucky defence and a spirited attack, they could only add four more goals to their three scored in the first quarter.

Jaimon Alone was the stand out player for Rovers, named best on ground by officials.

He ran his legs off the entire game and set the pace for the victors. Comben said his team had a good four-quarter performance.

“We unearthed some young talent, which will hold the club in good stead moving into the future,” he said.

It’s a trip to Northampton for the victors next, while the boys from Chapman Valley will host Brigades in round 10 with three out of four of those teams still looking for a top two finish.

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