Match Report: 4 Games, 4 Wins, 4 More Points

Box Hill have maintained its unbeaten start to 2017 with an impressive 7-goal win at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium.

The Hawks took an experienced side down the highway to take on the two-and-one Cats and turned on the style in a match-winning fifteen minute burst in the final term.

Box Hill started positively in variable and challenging conditions, and when Ty Vickery marked strongly on the lead and converted his fifty meter set shot had the early advantage.

The joy of Vickery’s raking right footed goal was short lived, as Geelong answered with two quick goals to take a slender lead.

David Mirra, Kurt Heatherley and Kade Stewart all pulled down relieving marks in positions and situations of concern to keep the dangerous looking Cats at bay, before Chris Newman’s side showed patience and efficient ball use to wrestle back control.

Finally the pressure told, with Kade Stewart executing a brilliant run down in the middle of the park and quickly advancing the ball to Anthony Brolic. Brolic wasted little time in finding the running Switkowski, who split the middle from thirty five.

Whilst they’d perhaps been the better side, the visitors managed another behind to close out a hard fought first quarter.

With Brendan Whitecross busy and Jono O’Rourke knocking up getting possessions, Box Hill started the second term in similar fashion to the first. This time it was big Jack Fitzpatrick who got the goal, showing great athleticism to run and carry before kicking his first from the goal square.

Will Hams contributed a trademark running goal from fifty to give the Hawks some breathing room, with the advantage kept in tact on the back of some sterling defensive efforts from Mirra, Conor Nash and Taylor Duryea.

When Nelson Lane dribbled through his first of the day after a lung-busting run it looked like the Hawks might be on the cusp of breaking the game open, but again the Cats found a timely reply.

As the rain began to fall Vickery turned to the world game for inspiration, showing great presence of mind to soccer through his second from thirty metres out. But again the Cats found the next and kept themselves in touch to ensure the margin at the long break was a slender ten points.

Following a delayed start to the second half, and with the rain steady overhead, the Hawks had the best possible start when Switkowski cleverly pitched a kick to the top of the goal square in the hope the greasy turf would do its bit. It did, and the Box Hill number 24 had his second of the match.

As the conditions worsened the game became a battle between the arcs. Meaningful forward forays were hard to find for either side, and when they did come defensive numbers would win the day.

David Mirra twice saved his side from Geelong break-outs, first touching a goal-bound kick on the line, before perfect positioning coaxed a long kick to his advantage from the advancing Geelong midfield.

It was no surprise that Irishman Conor Nash was at home in the inclement conditions, playing some of his best football of the season in a hard fought half-an-hour.

The Cats, however, would find a goal to narrowly win the quarter and set up an intriguing final term.

Kicking to the Players Stand end in the last, the Hawks took the early initiative when Schoenmakers marked on the goal line and snapped his first, before Fitzpatrick found himself on the end of Andrew Moore’s brilliant kick inside 50 and doubled his own tally.

The leadership of David Mirra was undeniable as his words of encouragement echoed around Simonds Stadium, with the skipper clearly of the opinion his side were on the brink of landing a decisive blow.

That blow came just moments later, when Oliver Hanrahan broke clear on the half forward flank, steadied and lofted a beautiful shot to the goal line. One bounce later and the game was won.

Further stellar efforts from Moore, Hams and Max Warren repelled the Cats, before Vickery added his third, Brolic his first and Lane his second to round out a memorable third road win of the season.

Box Hill 2.4 6.6 7.8 14.11. 95
Geelong 2.2 5.2 6.5 8.5. 53

Goals: Vickery 3, Fitzpatrick 2, Switkowski 2, Lane 2, Hams, Henderson, Schoenmakers, Brolic, Hanrahan

Disposals: Cousins 28 (5 inside 50s, 5 rebound 50s), Henderson 24 (8 marks), Moore 22 (6 inside 50s, 6 rebound 50s, 8 clearances), Mirra 22 (8 marks, 6 tackles, 6 rebound 50s), Fitzpatrick 16 (28 hitouts, 5 clearances)

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