Still no victories this year for the League and Women’s Port Hedland Rovers sides but a much-improved performance against the table toppers shows they can compete with the best when they have a full team. In the first match of the afternoon, the bottom-placed Rovers’ women’s side trailed by only seven points two minutes before quarter-time. Four goals in the final period blew the score out, with the home side losing 6.7 (42) to 0.2 (2). In the League game, the Rovers went down 17.8 (110) to 6.16 (52). And while the Port Hedland side was handily beaten, Rovers coach Dylan Ross said it was a much-improved performance from his side after the 140-point loss they suffered to second-place Dampier three weeks ago. “We had a lot of our blokes available to play which made it easier,” he said. “We had a bit more cattle but also 22 guys who were playing for each other, which hasn’t happened throughout the year. “It has all come more together which is nice and if we kicked straight it probably would’ve been a more flattering scoreline.” Ross said both Hedland sides were finding it more challenging with player availability and the fact they had to travel further than the other sides in the competition. “It’s getting more and more challenging up here,” he said. “With the two Hedland sides having to travel eight times a year it’s just getting harder with work commitments and family. “These guys who work shift work, the last thing they kind of want to do when they get a bit of time off is travel two and a half hours down the road to play footy.” The Reserves fixture ended with the Kats winning 17.8 (110) to 1.1 (7) against the Rovers. Given the difficulty the Rovers have with player availability, Ross said a solution might be to host more games in Hedland. “You might have to sit down with the Karratha sides and reason with them about Hedland potentially hosting a few more games a season,” he said. “It is what it is though, I’m sure the Hedland sides weren’t complaining around 2010 when the mining boom was in town and we had lots of player availability. “But the extra travel and shift work has made it really challenging for our guys.” Meanwhile, the South Hedland Swans were destroyed by the Dampier Sharks, managing just two goals while allowing 37 against them, Sharks 37.20 (242) to Swans 2.1 (13).