The Box Hill Hawks have soared into the grand final after defeating Williamstown by 20 points in Saturday’s semi-final.
Head coach Matt Adolph’s pregame message was to stick to what has worked for the undefeated squad all season.
“Keep it simple – we don’t need to do anything different than we have in the last 16 weeks,” he said.
“Maintain pressure on the ball carrier and trust your teammates.”
Liam Tobin and Julian Soccio kicked consecutive goals within the first five minutes of the game, and by quarter time the Hawks held an 18-point lead.
“Let’s be more composed with the footy going forward,” said Adolph at the quarter-time break.
A better quarter from the Seagulls saw the Hawks’ lead cut to just eight points by half-time, and Box Hill had a fight on its hands.
Williamstown managed to take the lead during the third quarter, before consecutive Box Hill goals leveled the scores late in the term. By the final break Box Hill held a slender two-point lead, but Matt Adolph was full of reassurance.
“Do the simple things. I trust you to come out and give your all,” he said.
The Hawks responded. Chris Jones and Liam Tobin quickly put through goals that extended Box Hill’s lead to double figures, and at the final siren the margin stood at 20 points – a win that gives the group a week off, and a grand final berth.
After the game Matt Adolph highlighted captain Xavier Dimasi’s impressive season – and was full of praise for a number of others.
“Sam Switkowski and Liam Kidd have had great years, and Billy Murphy has taken his role to another level after missing the first six or seven games,” he said.
The Hawks have earned a week off and will face the winner of this weekend’s clash between Coburg and Williamstown in the grand final.
“I have complete confidence in the group – whether we meet Coburg or Williamstown – I’ll back the 23 guys we put out there to get the job done,” Adolph said.
Box Hill Hawks: 4.1 6.4 8.4 12.9 (81)
Williamstown: 1.1 5.2 7.7 9.7 (61)
Goal Kickers: L. Tobin 2, A. Franetic 2, C. Jones 2, S. Crocker, P. McEvoy, D. Graham, J. Hardisty, J. Soccio, W. Murphy
Best Players: R. Exon, C. Jones, J. Lewis, S. Gibson, L. Langford, L. Tobin
Photo credit: Jenny Owens