Northern Bullants Match Report

Box Hill Hawks have enjoyed a winning return to City Oval, beating a spirited Northern Bullants to the tune of 48-points on Sunday morning.

In the Club’s first outing on home soil since August of 2019, Sam Mitchell’s 24-man squad comprised an even split of AFL and VFL-listed talent. Conor Nash played only a half, whilst key position tall James Blanck was kept in reserve on the bench.

The crowd were treated to a contest which ebbed and flowed, with both sides enjoying periods of great momentum. In truth, the margin on the scoreboard didn’t always reflect the competitive nature of the hit-out.

Ultimately, it was the two-pronged attack of Emerson Jeka (six goals) and Fergus Greene (five goals) that proved decisive as the hosts won three of the four quarters to secure a confidence boosting win just two weeks out from round one.

It was a willing if slightly cagey opening, with neither side able to find any great rhythm in their front halves in the early going.

The Bullants were first on the scoreboard, before the Hawks made the first meaningful move of the game.

The rear guard of Horner, De Wit, Cunico, Pepper and Hartley waxed well to keep Josh Fraser’s men at bay, in turn allowing Skipper Damian Mascitti to play in a more free-roaming role that often advanced him forward of centre.

In the engine room it was the hard running of Ed Phillips, James Cousins and Trent Mynott ably supported by the clever Vincent Adduci.

A spread of contributors provided the Hawks with deep and direct ball movement inside 50, teeing up Jeka and Greene to kick two apiece and secure the Hawks a 19-point lead at quarter time.

The Ants were first on the board in the second quarter, but the hosts would kick six of the next seven majors to establish a handy break.

Cousins got his team’s first of the term after some fine build-up play from Greene, Nash and Mynott, before Ed Phillips finished beautifully on the run just minutes later.

Greene marked well one-on-one for his third, before turning provider for Jeka’s third a short time later.

Undoubtably the goal of the quarter came via a lung-bursting run and tidy finish from James Cousins, who won the ball in dispute, gathered and burned off his opponent before kicking truly from forty.

A seven goal advantage became eight in the shadows of half-time, when Jeka capped his best half of the pre-season with a fourth goal from a strong mark and straightforward finish.

The early stages of the third term proved to be Box Hill’s trickiest phase of the contest, with the Bullants kicking the first three of the fresh half and good value for each of them.

Faced with a major challenge, it took until time on for the Hawks’ first of the quarter from the boot of Ned Reeves.

That was followed immediately by brown and gold’s best passage of play of the day. After 25 minutes of a hard fought, hard grind, the impressive Mason De Wit bounded off half-back, linked well with Trent Mynott and the former Bomber laced Fergus Greene out for the goal kicker to nail his fourth.

For the fourth time from four opportunities it was the Bullants who found the first goals immediately after the resumption of play, with two kick six-pointers making things momentarily uncomfortable for Sam Mitchell’s charges.

But we needn’t have worried. Five quickfire goals settled any nerves of a dramatic comeback.

Greene kicked his fifth from a terrific set shot, Mascitti nailed a long-range effort with little fuss, Jeka’s fifth followed some outstanding front half pressure, Mascitti opted to lay one off to Josh Morris for the latter’s first and Jeka’s sixth rounded things out brilliantly.

True to form the Bullants fought the contest out with a pair of goals. The final margin 48-points.

Box Hill




17.14 116





10.8 68

Jeka 6, Greene 5, Cousins 2, Phillips, Reeves, Mascitti, Morris

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