Box Hill’s VFL Women’s history-making first match has been soured with a defeat at the hands of fellow competition entrants Geelong.
The Hawks fought all day but were outclassed by the Cats, who made first use of the space of Simonds Stadium and extended their lead at every break en route to a 56-point win. The final siren blew with Box Hill still yet to enter their first goal, losing 0.2 to 9.4.
Under rainy skies following their Peter Jackson VFL counterparts’ fourth straight win, the Hawks hit the contests hard early. However, the difference between the two sides was their efficiency going into attack as Box Hill were repelled time and again across half-forward. Shaylee Taylor etched her name into Box Hill trivia when her off-line snap from the pocket registered her side’s first ever score in VFL Women’s.
A pair of goals from Jordan Ivey saw the Cats take a three-goal lead into the first break but it was their ability to find space and get numbers around the ball that saw them take control of the match over the next two quarters. While Box Hill finished the match ahead in clearances thanks to Abbey Tanner’s outstanding ruck work and just three behind in forward entries, luck didn’t really fall their way: when Chantella Perera desperately spoiled a certain goal straight onto the boot of Geelong forward Hayley Trevean to blow the margin out to 24 points in the second quarter, the Hawks must have known that it just wasn’t their day.
By the end of the match, the difference in experience between Box Hill and Geelong had proved telling. Box Hill had five less AFLW players and a whopping 14 Hawks had never played in VFL Women’s.
Box Hill were hardly disgraced, with several players having first games to remember in the brown and gold. Captain Mel Kuys battled a fine match on the ball and Emma Mackie’s physical strength was instrumental in the clinches. Meanwhile, Chantella Perera used her athleticism to rebound out of defence while shutting down key Cat playmaker Maddie Boyd. Nuggetty youngster Cassandra Papadopolous claimed the points in her one-on-one battle with Geelong vice-captain Lily Mithen.
“It was a great experience for the girls to get out there,” says coach Pat Hill. “Early on the backline were probably under siege and the longer the game went on the better they got.
“I was really impressed with young Olivia Flanagan, 18 years old, playing her first game and she was tremendous, she was a real bull. Her spread’s as good as anyone on the field, so she was great.”
Box Hill face the VU Western Spurs next Sunday from 3.00pm in their first home match at Box Hill City Oval.
Geelong 3.0 5.2 7.3 9.4.58
Box Hill 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2.2