R13 Match report: Hawks outhunted by Demons

Box Hill was outplayed to the tune of 34 points by Casey in unfavourable conditions at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon.

Battling arctic winds, pelting rain and a dominant Casey midfield, the Hawks were outhunted by 21 in contested possessions and 16 in groundball gets.

Eleven Box Hill players with under ten possessions and eight players with two tackles or less told the story of the day, in contrast to a Demon’s outfit that racked up 100 tackles for the game.

Within a blink of an eye, Casey secured one of the fastest starts in VFL history. It took only ten seconds for Jay Kennedy-Harris to rove a Brayden Preuss tap and launch a booming 70-metre goal with the wind to open proceedings.

Hawk Luke Meadows responded within less than a minute, levelling the scores courtesy of a dribbling goal through congestion.

But as the rain began to bucket down, so too did the Casey goals.

The Demons surged forward in waves, locking the ball in their forward half in a game of territory. The home side utilised the significantly advantageous gail to boot four opening term goals and lead by 27 points at the first break.

Demon Kyle Dunkley opened the second term with a critical goal for the home side against the breeze.

Youngster Harry Jones then produced one of Box Hill’s rare highlights for the day, peeling off a monster long-range kick from well within the centre square, catching the wind and tumbling through the goals.

Sharpshooter Mat Walker finally broke the shackles twenty minutes later with an opportunistic snap and goal.

But a two-goal return for the term with the wind proved nowhere near productive enough.

Box Hill instead entered the rooms at half-time lamenting missed opportunities, after squandering chances in front of goal to finish with five behinds for the term.

The Hawks ran out for the second-half holding hope of limiting the Demons to a manageable third term margin and coming home like a wet sail with the wind in the last.

But the visitors proved no match for the rampaging Demons.

Liam Wale-Buxton opened the second half with a strong, contested mark and set shot goal.

Mykleti Lefau then added a running check side snap in quick time.

While James Munro stormed out of the pack, fended off an opponent with an imposing ‘don’t argue’ and then slotted the running goal from 50 metres – putting Box Hill on the ropes.

The Demons continued to overpower the Hawks, piling on a commanding seven second-half goals to four.

A concussion injury sidelining Hawk ruckman Ned Reeves left Demon Brayden Pruess to continue running amok, ending up with 17 disposals, six marks and an enormous 64 hitouts for the day.

David Mirra ignited a glimmer of hope, rallying with a running snap at goal to reduce the margin to 33 points with twenty minutes left to play.

But when Skipper Andrew Moore was split up the middle with a bone-crunching hit, so too did the hopes of any Box Hill respite.

In the end, the margin proved too great for Box Hill to claw back, as Casey ran away with a complete four-quarter performance.

The Demons gaining redemption for its 61 point season-opening loss, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Hawks and capping off a sad and sorry day for the reigning premiers.

Assistant Coach Torin Baker in Round 12 predicted Harry Jones to go another level during the season, and Jones has responded to do just that this past fortnight.

The midfielder racked up another 29 disposals, eight tackles, five inside 50s and a goal after a brilliant performance in the wet against Sandringham the previous week.

In trying conditions for big men, Mitch Lewis stood tall to gather 16 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, 17 hitouts and a goal.

Harry Morrison battled valiantly all day for 23 disposals, eight tackles, five marks and four inside 50s while Skipper Andrew Moore collected 16 disposals and laid nine tackles.

Assistant Marco Bello identified post-match that the side left the load up to too few players.

“They acclimatised to the conditions a lot better than what we did,” Bello said.

“Their contested ball; their ability to win the ball on the inside and then get on the outside was much better than ours.

“We weren’t able to capitalise in the second (quarter), unfortunately we gave them too much of a head start and it was an uphill battle from there.

“Unfortunately, the difference was between the higher guys and the lower guys. There was too big a gap for those lifting a heavy load today.”

Box Hill’s inconsistent season finds it slipping to eighth position with a 5-5-1 record.

Box Hill will turn its attention to Geelong when it faces the Cats next Saturday at Box Hill City Oval.


BOX HILL HAWKS          1.0       3.6       4.7       7.8       (50)

CASEY DEMONS            4.8       5.9       10.10    12.12    (84)


Box Hill Hawks: Walker 2, Lewis, Jones, Meadows, Mirra, Moore

Casey Demons: Kennedy-Harris 3, Bedford 2, Lefau 2, White, Munro, Dunkley, Jordan, Wale-Buxton


Box Hill Hawks: Jones 29, Morrison 23, Miles 20, Lewis 16, Moore 16

Casey Demons: Kennedy-Harris 24, Maynard 23, Wagner 21






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