Grand Final replay a chance for redemption

By Callum Godde: Photo Jenny Owens

Box Hill will be out for redemption when it lines up against Williamstown in a replay of the 2013 AFL Victoria Development League Grand Final this weekend.

Almost a year to the day since the Hawks premiership hopes were dashed by the Seagulls in the high-drama of ‘golden-point’ extra time, they will get the chance to make amends in 2014.

It’s Box Hill’s seventh consecutive VFL reserves/AFL Victoria Development League Grand Final, however, the Hawks have fallen short at the final hurdle in their past two appearances.

The Hawks had to work for their spot in the competition’s showpiece game in last Sunday’s preliminary final against Port Melbourne. The Borough battled on in the first half, before Box Hill stormed home in the second to seal a huge 82-point victory.

The competitions leading goal kicker Peter McEvoy, who was recently crowned joint A. Todd Medallist, spearheaded the Hawks attack once again kicking four goals.

However after McEvoy starred in his VFL debut alongside brother Ben two weeks ago, seniors coach Marco Bello is likely to require the services of 23-year old again – ruling him out of the development sides Grand Final.

Should this be the case it would obviously be a massive loss for Box Hill, but one the Hawks are seemingly equipped to cover.

Box Hill are bubbling with attacking options with Sam Cust, Tom Gordon and Nik Papadopoulos ready to pick up the slack if McEvoy is indeed called up for the clubs Sunday preliminary final clash with Williamstown.

The two best teams of 2014 have made it through to the Grand Final; the Seagulls (13-3) only marginally edged out the Hawks (12-4) for top spot this season.

The ladder and percentage were barely able to split them, and form isn’t likely to help many football pundits to pick a winner either.

Box Hill and Williamstown share a 50-50 record; both clubs recording narrow wins over one another during 2014.

In the season-opener, it was a case of déjà vu as Williamstown replicated their 2013 Grand Final heroics winning by a solitary point.

However Box Hill turned the tables on the Seagulls in Round 10, with new recruit Aiden Franetic booting five goals for the Hawks on their way to a sensational 11-point win.

After the crucial win in June, Box Hill development coach, Kevin Collins, said it had been a complete performance from his side.

“It was a good game. Our boys were good from the start and that’s been our focus – putting together four consistent quarters,” he said.

“Our intensity at the ball was good, we won contested ball, and put a bit of pressure on them to make mistakes and we really concentrated on our forward pressure.”

The 2014 AFL Victoria Development League Grand Final will take place on Saturday at North Port Oval from 10.45am.

Go Hawks!

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