MATCH REPORT: Demons Ground Hawks

The Hawks’ unbeaten start to 2017 has ended at the hands of a well-drilled and clinical Casey Demons, with the latter running out 26-point victors at Box Hill City Oval.

In Box Hill’s first home match since the round 5 win over Richmond – and it’s first match off the bye – the Demons were simply too good on the day.

Lead by standout performances from Sam Weideman, who booted six goals, and Jay Kennedy-Harris, who racked up thirty-nine touches, the visitors turned in a complete four quarter performance to nab the four points.

The Demons came into the game on a four match winning streak and looked every bit the VFL’s in-form outfit right from the off.

They controlled the early exchanges, dominating both territory and possession to have the Hawks camped deep in their own defence.

Despite strong defensive efforts from stand-in skipper Max Warren, key back Kurt Heatherley and the hard running Nelson Lane, the Demons made their early initiative pay. Young Casey forward Sam Weideman was proving a handful and kicked the first two of the day.

On eighteen minutes Dallas Willsmore nailed the Hawks’ first of the afternoon, steering through his set shot from forty-five, but in what was to become a regular and ultimately match-winning occurrence, the Demons found a quick reply.

Casey pressed for another soon after, but Warren again repelled a promising foray forward, this time marking on the goal line to deny the Demons a certain goal.

Trailing by two goals, Brendan Whitecross, who lead his team with 29 touches, provided a measure of calm and experience around the contest to retain possession in traffic, evade a tackle and find Andrew Moore. Moore looked up to see the advancing Adduci, and the first-year Hawk ran into an open goal to boot his first for the Club.

Returning the Box Hill side for the first time since the win at Collingwood, James Cousins was busy in midfield, gathering eleven touches for the term and providing an outlet on the inside as well as spread from the contest.

But it was Sam Weideman’s quarter. First he marked strongly in front just fifteen metres out to kick his third, before a beautiful set shot from just on fifty split the middle for his fourth of the first term, a goal which gave the Demons a thoroughly deserved three-goal advantage at quarter time.

Weideman picked up right where he left off, booting his fifth of the day from another strong mark and textbook set shot finish just five minutes into the second quarter.

Now four goals in arrears it was the outstanding work rate of Andrew Moore that pulled one back for the Hawks. Moore bullocked his way through midfield to win the hard ball and ride a tackle before kicking inside 50 to Adduci. Adduci lost his footing on the slippery deck, but Moore arrived to lend a hand, again taking possession and finding the isolated Chris Jones, who kicked his first of the day from the goal line.

Two goals from the boot of Kade Stewart in as many minutes got Box Hill to within 10-points midway through the quarter, the second of which came at the end of the Hawks’ best transition of the day.

But, again, Casey found the most important goal – the next one – to edge away and lead by 17-points at the half.

Anthony Brolic twice reduced the Demons’ lead to two kicks, with two big marks sandwiching a timely Casey reply.

Brolic was again involved shortly after, showing great invention to tap a contested ball into the path of Ty Vickery, who ran into the open goal to kick his first of the afternoon and reduce the margin to four points nearing time-on.

But, you guessed it, Casey found a fast reply. In fact, they found three of them in the final ten minutes of the third term to take a 22-point lead into the last.

Chris Newman implored his charges for one final effort and, to their credit, they returned to the field with an effort and attitude that has become their trademark.

Andrew Moore started the final half hour like a man possessed, willing his team on at every contest.

Kade Stewart rose to take an outstanding one-one-one mark on the half forward flank, gathering himself quickly to advance the ball to Vickery. The big man – and Hawks’ leading goalkicker for the year – kicked his second of the day to get the margin within three goals.

The teams traded goals, as Casey answered, before Vickery lead, marked and goalled for the third time to again get Box Hill within three kicks.

When he did the same two minutes later to register his fourth of the day the Hawks had a real sniff entering time on.

Rallying from deficits and overturning seemingly hopeless situations has been in this Hawks’ side’s DNA in 2017, but another comeback wasn’t to be on this day.

In fading light it was the Demons who resisted wave after wave of high tempo Hawks pressure to kick the sealer. Fittingly – and somewhat despairingly for Kurt Heatherley, who’d been superb in curbing this man’s second half influence – it was Sam Weideman who strolled into an open goal to kick his sixth.

The Hawks remain top of the table ahead of yet another stern test next week, a trip to the much-improved Northern Blues at Preston City Oval.

Box Hill 2.1 5.2 8.5 11.7    73
Casey 5.1 7.7 11.9 14.15  99

Goals: Vickery 4, Stewart 2, Brolic 2, Jones, Adduci, Willsmore

Disposals: Whitecross 29 (8 marks, 10 rebound 50s), Moore 25 (8 tackles, 6 clearances, 5 inside 50s), Cousins 25 (8 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 4 clearances), Miles 24 (3 rebound 50s), Stewart 23 (7 tackles, 6 clearances)

Vic Development League

In the day’s curtain raiser Box Hill and Casey’s Development League sides squared off for the second time in three weeks.

Sadly for the brown and gold the result, although closer, remained the same.

A competitive first quarter and a half gave way to a Casey blitz, who ran out comfortable 38-point victors.

Box Hill 4.3 6.7 8.12 12.13  85

Casey 7.2 13.2 16.6 19.9    123

Goals: Murphy 2, Hehir 2, Godwin 2, Kilpatrick, Traynor, Williams, Codd-Miller, Burt, Walker

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