Rovers stay in the hunt for fi­nals spot

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ben Leahy

Port Hed­land Rovers jumped back into the North Pil­bara Foot­ball League’s top four with a con­vinc­ing 83-point home win over the Kar­ratha Fal­cons last week­end.

The Rovers blitzed the Fal­cons in the open­ing term, kick­ing six goals to one, and marched to­wards an 18.17 (125) to 6.6 (42) vic­tory on Colin Mathe­son oval.

Rovers coach Greg Mas­trangelo said the Hed­land side had se­lected a strong team.

“We ex­pected to per­form well, and we did,” he said.

“There was a bit of a lapse in the sec­ond quar­ter where the Fal­cons kicked a cou­ple of con­sec­u­tive goals.

“But we ad­dressed that at half­time and boys came out ready to go again and were pretty hard to stop from there.”

The loss con­tin­ued a dire sea­son for the Fal­cons, who slumped to their ninth straight loss.

For the Rovers, how­ever, the win helped them leapfrog Dampier Sharks into fourth po­si­tion on the NPFL lad­der.

It sets up a pres­sure six weeks of foot­ball as the Rovers, Sharks and Kar­ratha Kats re­main in in­tense com­pe­ti­tion for fi­nals spots, be­hind the South Hed­land Swans and Wickham Wolves.

Coach Mas­trangelo said his Rovers squad were ex­cited by their re­cent im­prove­ment as they faced the stern chal­lenge of play­ing the top three teams in the com­ing three weeks.

He said Ben Ga­sior had been im­pres­sive up for­ward booting four goals, while Brad Men­tiplay worked hard through the mid­field.

And it seems there has been more than just an on-field re­birth in the Rovers’ for­tunes af­ter the part­ners of Men­tiplay and Mas­trangelo both gave birth in re­cent weeks.

With a third Rover also ex­pect­ing a child any­time now, Mas­trangelo said it was an ex­cit­ing time for the club.

“We pride our­selves on be­ing a fam­ily club, so adding new lit­tle Rovers to the team is great news,” he said.

The Rovers re­serves also con­tin­ued the good times for the Port Hed­land side as they main­tained their sec­ond plac­ing on the lad­der with an 13.10 (88) to 5.5 (35) win over the Fal­cons sec­onds.

Pic­tures: Ben Leahy

The Fal­cons look to burst through a Rovers tackle.

The Rovers and Fal­cons dur­ing the third term of the re­serves clash.

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