Hawks’ Wings Clipped by Bold Bombers

By Aaron Pereira | Photo by Jenny Owens
Box Hill have fallen agonisingly short of recording a third-straight win, losing top spot on the ladder after being defeated in a tight contest by 3 points to Essendon.

Coming off the bye after a convincing 85-point win against Casey, Box Hill found the going tough and were put to the sword by a hungry Bombers outfit on Saturday Afternoon.

Despite four goals from Luke Lowden, it wasn’t enough for the Hawks to come away with the points, losing 13.10 (88) to 14.7 (91).

A cold and windy day saw hundreds of fans flock to Highgate Recreational Reserve to see several senior listed players battle in out on the MCG-sized ground.

Both sides found scoring tough in the early stages with each defence holding up but attacking possessions constantly missing targets.

It was Box Hill who put the scoreboard pressure on early but couldn’t capitalise as much as they would have like, kicking 2.3 to 1.2 at the first break.

Coaches were quick to highlight that Box Hill were finding space but weren’t hitting targets.

A more free flowing game was evident in the second term with eleven goals being kicked, Box Hill leading by two points at half time.

The main break also soured for the Hawks, with Captain David Mirra going down with a calf injury, unable to play any further part in the game.

The see-sawing contest didn’t have Box Hill Coach Marco Bello happy, citing the poor kick to handball ratio, with the Hawks looking for too many easy entries inside 50.

The big men in Lowden and McEvoy stood up early in the third to claw back a 13-point lead with the highlight coming in an epic one-handed slip’s catch by James Sicily directly in front of goal.

The scoring was goal for goal with the Bombers stringing consecutive goals together to hold a lead of three-points at the final break.

It took sixteen minutes for a goal to be scored in the final quarter but it was Essendon who took a 15-point lead before two last ditch goals to Box Hill brought the lead back.

Jonathon Simpkin failed to hit a target in the final few seconds before the siren sounded and gifted the Bombers victory.

Coach Marco Bello said the side lacked stability throughout the game and were only good “in patches”.

“We really lacked consistency and [Essendon] didn’t allow us to play on our terms,” Bello said.

“Essendon scored nine goals from turnovers… and we just had that inability to stop them going forward.

Bello was scathing of the lack of senior players who were willing to put their hands up when it counted.

“We as a team lacked that leadership and there were too many passengers, nobody stood up.”

Bello also praised Essendon’s defence for not allowing Box Hill to gain easy scores when the game was on the line.

“They were a little cleaner [with possession] and they dropped numbers back when need be.

“Their intercept marks and rebounds from 50 really hurt us.”

Box Hill will meet top of the table Footscray at Victoria University at 1pm on Saturday July 12.

Final Score: Box Hill 13.10 88 defeated by Essendon 14.7 91

Goal Kickers:
L. Lowden 4, S. Grimley 2, W. Langford 2, D. Willsmore 2, S. Cust , S. Iles , D. Vizzarri
Best Players:
L. Lowden, D. Wanganeen, K. Cheney, A. Woodward, W. Langford, J. Simpkin

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