‘Hawks come from behind to overcome relentless Boroughs’

Two weekends in a row the AFL Development squad have climbed over the century mark with their victorious score lines as their second win coming from a thrilling game against the Boroughs at home by 28-points.

But, it was far from easy.

“We started really slowly and we allowed them to get four goals on the board. So we were chasing a little bit and then we sort of just stuck to our plan, we started to win the contested ball in the second quarter [and] put a bit more pressure on Port Melbourne because they’re a good team,” Coach Kevin Collins said.

The ferocious Port Melbourne squad split the goal posts with the first two majors of the match and kicked off the day intimidatingly as the Hawks couldn’t buy possession against the Borough domination.

“They hadn’t played for two weeks, so they were either going to come out really really well or really really rusty. We were hoping they were going to be sluggish but they were really good,” Collins admitted.

After four goals in the opposition’s favour, the Hawks were finding it hard to conjure a response as Tom Miles attempted to move the ball up forward to no avail and Jake Summers found space for potential possession but was neglected.

A couple of late goals to Box Hill steadied the ship as they went into the first break facing a 16-point gap to close.

Corey Cassidy took advantage of the first clearance of the second term and booted it into forward fifty only for it to finish as a behind. As the quarter wore on, it seemed Port Melbourne were controlling the tempo of the game while Box Hill were continuously trying to match their standard.

By half time, it was the Hawks’ persistence to force play into their advantage and in turn efficiency in front of goal through Peter McEvoy that kept them in it and created a much needed spark before the second half.

“We kept the ball in motion and we just kept moving the ball, whereas previous to that we kicked down the line too much so we changed the angles of our entries,” Collins said on the Hawks’ last half of football.

The Hawks and the Boroughs were going kick for kick early in the third term, as goals were abundant. James Pell took an impressive mark inside defensive fifty, as Box Hill was authoritative in their back half to keep the dominant Boroughs from increasing their lead.

As they faced a 10-point deficit leading into the final term, the Hawks needed to lift their intensity as they had seemingly been on the back pedal for the entire day against their guests.

As Box Hill booted the ball towards the President’s Luncheon end, they couldn’t nail a major conversation and produced four consecutive behinds early.

It was the enormous efforts up the corridor by Pat Lawlor and Brandon Wood that turned the match around. The Hawks were slotting goals left, right and centre and before the Borough’s could respond, Box Hill were goals in front on the scoreboard.

A brilliant passage of play through a courageous smother by Jordan Walker for Matthew Northe to capitalise on and pass off to Tom Gordon who locked it in for an opportunity in front of goal.

In the last ten minutes of the fourth quarter, the Hawks looked dangerous with the football whenever it landed in their hands with a big improvement from the first half coming in the form of their second efforts.

Pat Lawlor’s exceptional 30 kicks, 9 handballs and 5 marks was integral in Box Hill’s victory over their visitors and stamped their ability to come from behind for the whole competition to see.

Although, Collins was in awe of his boys’ massive final term efforts, improvements will be configured upon the squad’s slow start and ineffective ball use in the first half of the match.

“We’ll break it into four quarters in our next game, and just take one quarter at a time. Sometimes we look at the big picture, so we’ll really concentrate on early starts and getting that first fifteen minutes intensity,” Collins said.

The Hawks preserve their second spot on the ladder after their win against the Boroughs and will now look toward their clash against the Casey Scorpions in a fortnight at home.


Box Hill 15.12 (103) defeated Port Melbourne 11.9 (75)

Goal Kickers: P. McEvoy 5, T. Gordon 3, T. Miles, B. Wood, J. Walker, M. Northe, K. Post, C. Cassidy, N. Evans
Best Players:  P. Lawlor, T. Miles, J. Walker, M. Thompson, T.Goodwin, P. McEvoy

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