Hawks fail to overcome Seagulls in semi-final

By Alysia Thomas-Sam

Box Hill has been dealt their 5th loss of the year at the hands of Williamstown by 44 points at a sunny Victoria University Whitten Oval in the second semi-final for the AFL Development League.

The Seagulls looked too dangerous and swooped the important 13.17 (95) to 7.9 (51) victory, forcing the Hawks into the preliminary final against Port Melbourne to keep their premiership hopes alive.

In the early stages of the match the Hawks cultivated a 13-point lead even after missing crucial chances on goal. But they were made to pay for their inefficiency as the match wore on.

After the first quarter, the Hawks looked like a different side. They were unable to make any major dents on the scoreboard until the third term and failed to build on their first quarter lead.

The Seagulls capitlised on the Hawks’ incompetence going forward and overcame them to snatch the lead and carry it for the rest of the match.

Tom Gordon attempted to alleviate the deficit in the third quarter with a couple of successive goals to dampen the Seagulls’ domination of the match. But, Williamstown looked too eager and too dangerous for the Hawks to stop.

Coach Kevin Collins believes the lack of intensity on the Hawks behalf was a consequence of their inferior work rate in comparison to the Seagulls’.

“I just don’t think we worked hard enough to combat their running play. But they’re a good outfit and we know that,” he said.
Brandon Wood capped off his day with 26 disposals, managing more than the entire Seagulls line-up. But the spread of play was uneven with a few Hawks exercising control of play while others were seemingly absent.

Collins sees an increase in work rate and intensity as a priority to focus on in training and when deliberating the team list for the Port Melbourne encounter.

“We’ll just change our intensity at training also change a few things up, we had a couple of players out who are returning this week and we’ll just get a better balance than what we got today. There will be selection changes,” he said.

The inconsistency of the Hawks’ scoreboard pressure in their three goals in the first and third quarter and none in the second was a major lowlight in their demise against the Seagulls.

At the final changeover the Seagulls had locked in a comfortable 25-point lead but it was their seven-goal haul in the second quarter that ultimately quashed the Hawks’ hopes of a ticket to the Grand Final.

Despite the disappointing loss, Collins has faith in the playing group and has confidence going into their meeting with Port Melbourne.

“We know that we’re really fit and we won’t be in that game again. That game’s done buried and Port is a different team so we’ll come up with some different ideas and we’ll regroup,” he said.

Box Hill takes on Port Melbourne in the AFL Development League preliminary final on September 7th at 11am.

Box Hill 7.9 (51) defeated by Williamstown 13.17 (95)

Goal Kickers: N. Evans 2, T. Gordon 2, M. Northe 2, A. Franetic
Best Players: C. Cassidy, B. Wood, T. Miles, M. Northe, J. Soccio, P. Lawlor

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