Hawks handed second defeat of the year by Roosters

Alysia Thomas-Sam

Grey clouds threatened the weather conditions of Box Hill City Oval from the very beginning, but it was the in the last quarter of footy where the Hawks boys lost their cool under pressure.

The Roosters dealt the Hawks their second loss of the year by 2 points and despite the closing minutes giving the Box Hill faithful something to shout about, Coach Marco Bello was not impressed with the boys’ fourth term performance.

“It’s a hard one really, because you think about yeah, they probably did three quarters really well and then you’re sort of clouded by the last quarter,” Bello admitted.

The day began promisingly.

As the first bounce slapped the muddy centre circle, both sides were fired up and the intensity to snatch up possession was immense. Up forward, Sam Grimley snapped through the first Box Hill goal for the day and the first of three for himself. While Alex Woodward was courageous in his second efforts as he smothered the ball in a Roosters attempt to clear it out.

Although the Hawks had a slight 5-point upper hand at the first break, the Roosters were looming and wouldn’t let them break away.

The rain began to pelt down at the beginning of the second term as clean possession and disposal became a rarity. Majority of run and ball pick up was being pushed to the crowd end away from the corridor of the oval. Will Langford’s guernsey was soiled with mud as a consequence of racking up 25 disposals and booting 18 kicks for the day.

The Roosters were fairly inconsistent with their opportunities up forward, which gave leeway to the Hawks who were equally inefficient in front of goal.

Box Hill’s defensive work rate was commendable in the second term and smothering was at an all time high down the ground. As half time rolled around, the Hawks needed to intensify their attempts in capitalising up forward going into the second half.

The clouds began to part for the third quarter, Xavier Murphy did well in contests in attacking fifty to control the ball against two Roosters. From here, the Hawks were dominant of possession and commanded play in their favour.

However, a drought of goals began to set in as Box Hill found it impossible to make a significant dent on the scoreboard early. The defenders balanced this inefficiency out though, as the Roosters were kept quiet with only a 3-point impression on the margin by the end of the third term.

A couple of crucial goals late through Sam Grimley extended Box Hill’s lead to 23 points – the largest of the day going into the final quarter.

With a healthy lead under their belt, Box Hill just needed to keep their visitors under control and maintain their advantage.

Nevertheless, North Ballarat came out of the rooms dynamic and forced the ball into their forward half after the very first clearance. David Mirra recognised this lift in intensity and found himself sliding through the mud to push through a rushed behind.

The Roosters were taking advantage of Box Hill’s inaccurate passing and messy ball use; they were closing down any Hawk who held the ball too easily and too well.

With each major score, the visitors were cutting into the Box Hill gap and they seemed frazzled at the expense of the Roosters hunger for the ball and a win.

In the end, the visitors desire for the four points overshadowed the Hawks players’ ability to hold a robust lead.

“They [North Ballarat] played the conditions really well I think in the end, so they were the ones who were hungrier they knew what it was all about and they did it really well,” Bello said.

Bello discusses where the problem lies and the solution that will be enforced to ensure an increase in effort and performance from the players for future clashes.

“They weren’t able to stop a roll on once a team gets two or three goals, I mean they kicked three goals over three quarters and then finish with five in the last – so that’s really disappointing,” Bello explained.

“It will be putting the onus back on the players themselves, I think they need to recognise what they did and what they need to do. Because in the end we’ve obviously got the mental aptitude, we had the physical aptitude, but it was something in between the two, that us as coaches probably can’t really dictate, so they’re the ones that are really going to have to drive it.”

The Hawks will have a second chance at home this weekend against Williamstown and will be looking to secure a win and avoid a third loss in a row.

Goal Kickers: S. Grimley 3, P. Lawlor 2, J. Simpkin , W. Langford , D. Wanganeen
Best Players: S. Collins, W. Langford, J. Kelly, S. Iles, A. Woodward, J. Simpkin


Similar Posts