Photo credit: Jenny Owens
Box Hill has suffered just its second loss of the Peter Jackson VFL season after succumbing to Collingwood by two-points in a thriller at Victoria Park on Saturday.
The Hawks never seemed to hit their stride as the Pies dictated proceedings, denying Box Hill of the space that the Hawks usually thrive upon.
The loss was further compounded by key injuries during the game.
Captain David Mirra’s day was over in the first quarter with an ankle injury, while Matthew Spangher similarly had his day reach a premature end due to an ankle injury in the third.
Despite the loss of the key defensive duo, the Hawks managed to curtail Collingwood’s scoring prowess, with the real impact being observed in the Hawks’ lack of rebounding drive.
Ben McEvoy followed up last week’s best-on-ground performance with another equally-dominant game, as he took advantage of the size and strength disparity he had over his opponent in the ruck.
The story of the day was encapsulated within the first ten minutes of the game, as Collingwood prevented Box Hill from taking a mark until seven minutes into the game. Despite the dominance, the Pies struggled to shake the Hawks, with late goals handing the Pies a 17-point quarter-time lead.
As has been the case all season, Box Hill responded to the challenge in the second quarter, leaving Collingwood goalless in the quarter while kicking two goals of their own to reduce the margin to a mere 5-points at the main break.
With three goals to either side in the third quarter, the game was setup for a thrilling conclusion in the last term, as the Hawks trailed by a straight kick.
Having suffered the ankle complaint in the third quarter, Spangher tried valiantly to come back on the fielding, starting the last quarter up forward, though his return of the field was short-lived, as he returned to the bench for the remainder of the game.
With 22 minutes gone in the final quarter and the game up for grabs, it was Simpkin who managed to finally claim the lead for the Hawks, as Box Hill began looking likely to steal an unlikely victory.
It wasn’t to be however, as a free kick 15 metres out from Collingwood’s goal resulted in a goal to the Pies with the Hawks running out of time, falling short by two points.
Box Hill will now take on Frankston this Saturday, 4 July at Box Hill City Oval, with the Development League kicking off at 10am and the PJVFL action following at 2pm.
Collingwood 4.1 4.4 7.6 9.8 (62)
Box Hill Hawks 1.2 3.5 6.6 9.6 (60)
Goal Kickers: O’Brien 2, Whitecross, Howe, Grimley, McEvoy, Lock, Willsmore, Simpkin
Best: McEvoy, Litherland, Collins, Switkowski, Whitecross, Iles