(Photograph: Jenny Owen)
Box Hill has gone down in a thriller in the Development squad’s third practice match, going down by five points to the Northern Blues at IKON Park on Friday.
On a beautiful Good Friday morning, it was the Blues who made the perfect start to proceedings, heading forward and registering their first goal within two minutes.
It wasn’t long though until a scintillating three-bounce run from Billy Murphy was capped off with a beautiful kick from 50-metres out to register the Hawks’ first goal, bringing the game to level pegging once again.
A 50-metre set shot from Joe Zema managed to provide the Hawks with the lead for the first time of the game 15 minutes in, though the Blues eventually responded as a quick snap fell in their lap inside 50, which was duly converted to hand the Blues a one-point lead to quarter time.
With the an even game up until quarter time, the Blues took control of the game in the second quarter, though were unable to capitalise, kicking a wayward one goal, three behinds for the quarter.
A single scoring shot, a lovely goal to Matthew Traynor, was all the Hawks could manage in the second term, though it was enough to keep Box Hill right in the hunt for the second half, trailing by four points at the main break.
Contrary to how the first half started, it was the Hawks who came rushing out of the blocks in the second half, as Traynor received a 50-metre penalty which took him right to the goal line, kicking easiest of goals.
Despite seemingly having control of the game, the Hawks too were not able to capitalise on their dominance, as two quick goals towards the end of the quarter handed the Blues a nine-point lead with one quarter to play.
With the game on the line in the fourth, both teams crashed into each other ferociously, with several players spending time haunched over recovering from hits.
It took 10 minutes for either team to score, with two quick behinds to the Blues stretching the lead out to 11 points.
Another bit of Billy Murphy magic set Matt Burt up for a goal to bring the margin back to five points, but it wasn’t enough for the Hawks as the siren sounded a few minutes later with the Hawks going down by five points.
Box Hill Hawks: 2.1 3.1 4.3 5.3 33
Northern Blues 2.2 3.5 5.6 5.8 38
Goals: 2 Traynor, Murphy, Zema,