Round 11 Match Report

Box Hill have recorded a fourth successive win of the VFL season, accounting for Aspley on Saturday afternoon at City Oval.

The 62-point win moves the Hawks to six-and-two on the season and entrenches the Club in the competition’s top eight.

Though the box score makes for impressive reading in the aftermath, the visiting Hornets made by far the better start. A mature, big-bodied Aspley outfit opened the contest in a physical and committed mood, muscling their way to the opening four goals of an oftentimes spirited first term.

Such was the visitors’ control on the game, the Hawks had failed to register a score entering time on of the first thirty minutes.

Fortunately, Box Hill were able to arrest the Hornets’ momentum in the closing stages of the opening quarter thanks to goals from Jackson Callow and Fergus Greene.

These goals proved important in the broader context of the game, acting as the foothold from which Sam Mitchell’s men attacked the second quarter and set-up the win.

Level or behind in most key statistical indicators at the first change, the Hawks would finish the day an impressive +60 in disposals, +24 in contested disposals, +22 in handball receives, +34 in hit outs, +22 for clearance, +28 for inside 50s and, finally, +22 in scoring shots.

A four goal to one second quarter gave the Hawks a half-time lead, before an impressive – if wasteful – third quarter effectively ended the game as a contest.

Lead by a strong defence and dominant midfield, the Hawks piled on 3.11 for the term, controlling possession and territory near exclusively. The brown and gold attacked relentlessly to the scoreboard end, tallying 20 inside 50s to four in a quarter that had everything but the finishing.

Even though a six-goal lead at the last change felt good enough for the four points, Mitchell and his men would leave nothing to chance. A far more clinical Hawks outfit kicked away in the final quarter, booting six goals to two to shut the door on an Aspley comeback.

Conor Nash was named his team’s best player, with the dashing Irishman’s influence plain to see. He finished with a game-high 13 contested possessions and nine clearances, an equal team-high five centre bounce clearances and a team-high six tackles. He’d also contribute a classy running goal.

Olly Hanrahan again saw plenty of midfield minutes, leading all-comers in brown and gold with 30 disposals. He’d also tally an impressive six clearances, three inside 50s and, like Nash, a well taken six-pointer.

One of 2021’s good news stories, Brayden Kilpatrick continued his strong recent form, compiling a team-high 22 uncontested possessions and 12 handball receives, while also proving busy with seven marks and three clearances. His ability to spread to provide options and overlap a highlight.

Emerson Jeka put his hand up for a senior recall. The imposing 19-year-old was the most dominant forward on the ground, kicking a game-high four goals, taking a team-high 11 marks and launching his side inside 50 on eight occasions – more than any of his teammates.

The ever-reliable Damian Mascitti again impressed; the skipper proved a composed hand across half back, providing a conduit between defence and attack with five rebound 50s and four inside 50s to go with three score assists.

Big Ned Reeves challenged Jeka for the title of most dominant big man on the ground, his 35 hit outs near three times more than Aspley managed between them. He’d knock seven of those to his teammate’s direct advantage, win six clearances, kick a goal and have a hand in two more.

All told it was an impressive response to a rocky start, with outstanding contributions across every line.

Box Hill




15.19 109





7.5 47

Best: Nash, Jeka, Hanrahan, Kilpatrick, Mascitti, Maginness

Goals: Jeka 4, Greene, Brooksby 2, Morris, Reeves, Adduci, Callow, Hanrahan, Nash, Saunders

Disposals: Hanrahan 30, Kilpatrick 29, Nash 28, Mascitti 21, Jeka 20, Saunders 19, Adduci 19

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