Box Hill borough through Port Melbourne

By Aaron Pereira | Photo by Jenny Owens
Box Hill have stormed into the Victorian Development League Grand Final after a more than convincing 82-point win over Port Melbourne.

The Hawks started slowly and the pace was steady throughout the first quarter with nobody stamping their mark on the game.

But a team display of effort and skill stunned the home side, Box Hill running out winners 23.12 (150) to 9.4 (68).

The conditions at North Port Oval were pristine and supporters from both sides flocked in to what was inevitably an elimination final for one team.

The football early was a game of congestion, with the ball going back and forth between the two teams with only six goals kicked in the opening term.

Box Hill constantly looked for Peter McEvoy – the recently crowned Leading Goal Kicker and A. Todd Medallist – as the main target with Tom Gordon also looming large.

The Hawks gained the momentum but couldn’t capitalise, only leading by 14-points at quarter time.

Development Coach Kevin Collins cited that the communication was good but players weren’t rewarding the lead-up targets as they should.

Collins also highlighted that the pressure was good but that the clearance numbers were abysmal.

Tom Goodwin stepped up and dominated the ruck contests with Sam Cust and McEvoy the beneficiaries each kicking two goals by half time.

The lead got out to 20-points but Goodwin’s undisciplined acts gave Port Melbourne two 50-metre penalties and a way back in – the lead cut to four-points by the main break.

At the start of the second half, it was all Box Hill, having six scoring shots in a row to push the lead out past 30-points, making it extremely hard for the Boroughs campaign.

Nik Papadopoulos popped up kicking three goals of his own in a dominant display of contested football and straight kicking.

The final quarter saw carnage as Box Hill piled on seven goals to two, governing the clearances and kicking truly.

One goal saw Sam Cust burst through the middle handballing to Nik Evans who broke a tackle and passed off to Pat Lawlor who goaled, all with Port Melbourne touching the ball.

The win saw Box Hill extend their run of victories over the Boroughs to nine on the trot – dating back to 2010.

The victory also sees Box Hill in a Grand Final rematch with Williamstown, a team they lost last year’s final to by a singular point.

Grand Final match details to come during the week.

Port Melbourne   2.2  6.8  7.10  9.14 (68)
Box Hill Hawks      4.4  7.6  14.9  23.12 (150)
Best: McEvoy, Papadopoulos, Cust, Gordon, Goodwin, Summers.
Goals: McEvoy 4, Cust 4, Gordon 3, Papadopoulos 3, Summers 2, Lawlor 2, Wood 2, Pell, Cassidy.


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