Controlling the momentum of the game, Box Hill held the lead over Essendon until the nail biting last minute of the game when a heartbreaking goal from Essendon gave them a two-point lead seconds before the final siren.
After missing some early set shots in the first quarter, Hardwick put the first goal on the scoreboard for Box Hill, creating momentum for the Hawks. The Hawks had 18 inside 50s in the first quarter whilst only managing four majors. This gave them a 10-point lead at the first break.
The Hawks dominated the quarter with 33 inside 50’s, however were unable to capitalise as Essendon’s ability to rebound the ball out of defence 24 times proved too strong. This limited the Hawks to just one goal for the quarter allowing Essendon to make up some lost ground, closing the half trailing by 5 points.
Opening the third quarter, Box Hill were full of run as they piled on 4 unanswered goals to Hardwick, Langford, Brolic and O’Brien. Essendon worked hard defensively against Box Hill’s efforts however couldn’t match their intensity, allowing the Hawks to extend their lead to 12 points at the final change.
Heading into the last term, it looked as though Box Hill would run away with the win after a long range goal from Langford, followed by a converted set shot from Miles. However, due to poor skill errors and easy turnovers, the Hawks faithful soon saw Essendon hit the front by 3 points.
In the dying minutes, Willsmore came through with a snap around the body to put the hawks back in front but it was not enough. With five seconds left on the clock, Essendon answered with a match-winning goal from outside 50, giving them a narrow two-point victory at the final siren.
Next Sunday, the Seniors will be looking to bounce back as they take on Richmond with the action set to kick off at 12:30pm at Punt Road Oval.
BOX HILL 4.5 5.7 10.10 13.14 (92)
ESSENDON 3.1 5.3 9.4 15.5 (94)
BOX HILL W. Langford 29, B. Hartung 29, D. Mirra 23, T. Miles 23, K. Lovell 22, B. Hardwick 21.
ESSENDON J. Merrett 29, S. Edwards 27, J. Polkinghorne 27, R. Crowley 24, A. Francis 20, J. Ashby 20.
BOX HILL T. O’Brien 3, W. Langford 2, B. Hardwick 2, A. Brolic 2, D. Willsmore, S. Iles, M. Lock, T. Miles.
ESSENDON D. Dobson 5, J. Langford 2, S. Edwards 2, J. Ashby, D. Coghlan, J. Simpkin, S. Heavyside, N. Kommer, S. Michael.
BOX HILL W. Langford, S. Switkowski, Z. Webster, A. Kennedy, D. Mirra, B. Hardwick.
ESSENDON B. Dobson, J. Polkinghorn, D. Coghlan, S. Edwards, A. Francis, J. Ashby.
Photo Credit: Jenny Owens Photography