Elimination Final Match Report

The Box Hill Hawks have kept their finals campaign alive in spectacular fashion, triumphing over a formidable Port Melbourne outfit in extra time.

In another classic contest between the two sides, the clash delivered all the excitement expected of September. A 30-point half-time Box Hill advantage was evaporated, as the Borough claimed the lead with regular time about to elapse. However, the Hawks saved their season with a last gasp goal in the dying seconds, to send the match to extra time.

It would be the brown and gold that would then prevail at the conclusion of two five-minute periods, with two unanswered majors in the first sealing the Hawks position in the second round of finals action.

The first half belonged to Box Hill, with the Hawks controlling the contest in a frenetic opening period which saw six goals recorded in the first eight minutes.

Mitch Lewis, Chris Jones, Brendan Whitecross, Jackson Ross and Anthony Brolic hit the scoreboard for the Hawks, as Port Melbourne stayed in touch through fewer opportunities but accurate conversion from their forward fifty entries.

After the flurry of goals which initiated the match, the clash settled into a more contested affair as ten minutes of the ensuing period passed without goal.

A piece of individual brilliance from Whitecross eventually broke the drought, an innovative backheel from just outside the goal square dribbling through the middle; before Kieran Lovell found Ross lace out, to put through his second of the afternoon.

The margin stood at four goals when James Cousins came to the fore, winning a vital ground ball and fending off multiple tacklers to then spot Dylan Moore in open space, who then put through a third consecutive Box Hill major.

Approaching time-on Port Melbourne registered their first score of the term, albeit a minor one, as the back six worked overtime to remain impenetrable – Tim O’Brien bearing a strong influence on the contest, Conor Glass providing customary pressure on the ball carrier and Taylor Duryea continually standing up on the last line.

At the major break, it was a 30-point advantage which stood in favour of the Hawks who had thus far, looked the more accomplished side.

However, at the resumption of play, the intensity lifted and so did the Borough.

Blake Pearson, Harvey Hooper and Jake O’Brien made it three Port Melbourne goals on the trot, to trim the margin to just two straight kicks halfway through the term.

A contentious call on the goal line gave the Borough another; before Damian Mascitti’s second major of the day squared the scoreline.

A true captain’s goal from Andrew Moore – whose efforts thus far could not be questioned – reclaimed the lead for Box Hill. However, it was without doubt that the Hawks would need to lift if they were to get over the line against a now rampaging Port Melbourne.

A tight and tense term ensued, another ten minutes passing without goal as Duryea again stepped up in crucial moments; and Lewis looked dangerous roaming forward fifty.

Cousins and Lovell continued to rack up important possession; while Pittonet battled valiantly to grant first use, on his way to an enormous 74 hit-outs.

However, it was Changkuoth Jiath who eventually sparked the first of the term, his manic pressure causing the ball to spill into the path of Oliver Hanrahan, who swooped to slot a crucial major and maintain a three-goal margin approaching time-on.

While the lead may have appeared comfortable, Port Melbourne refused to go away.

In the space of five minutes, the Borough booted four goals to take the lead, to the delight of the home crowd, in what seemed to be a match-winning effort.

Alas, with seconds remaining, a clever toe-poke from Brayden Kilpatrick and a second goal to Hanrahan said otherwise.

With scores level at the final siren, and initial confusion aside, it would be another five minutes to be played at each end that would ultimately decide the victor.

And a Cousins goal to go alongside his 30 disposals; followed by a second from Jones would be enough, as the Hawks got the best of a frenzied opening period of extra time before locking down in the second, to hold the Borough at bay.

The final margin standing at just 11 points, in a fine example of teamwork, persistence and tremendous heart, which sees the Hawks now progress to a semi-final showdown with Geelong next week.

Box Hill 5.4 8.7 9.9 11.17 13.17 13.18 (96)
Port Melbourne 4.0 4.1 9.3 13.5 13.7 13.7 (85)

:  Whitecross 2, Jones 2, Ross 2, Hanrahan 2, A. Moore, D. Moore, Lewis, Cousins, Brolic

Disposals: A. Moore 31, Cousins 30, Howe 28, Lovell 22, O’Brien 22

Best: Duryea, Cousins, O’Brien, Hanrahan, Whitecross, A. Moore

Similar Posts