Round 2 Match Report

The Box Hill Hawks have rebounded from a last start loss to record its first win of 2021.

The 56-point result returns Sam Mitchell’s men to the right side of parity as far as percentage, which could prove vital as 22 teams vie for 8 spots come finals time.

With the radar suggesting rain was on the way, both sides would’ve been keen for a fast start. What we got was an engrossing, evenly poised arm wrestle for most of the first quarter.

Pleasingly for Mitchell and his coaches’ box, it was the men in brown and gold who opened the scoring – something they’d failed to do in each of the Club’s hit outs so far in 2021.

The teams traded goals for the remainder of a see-sawing opening quarter, with neither side establishing nor profiting from consistent front half connection.

That was due in no small part to an evenly matched midfield battle and a pair of well organised, well performing defensive units.

Ultimately, two goals to the visitors sandwiched Fergus Greene’s first of the afternoon and the sides went to their respective huddles all square.

The second term opened in much the same way the first closed, as Box Hill tried to shake their determined opponents.

Jeka’s second resumed the scoring, before the Bullants answered back. The impressive Hawks forward kicked his third of a contest barely 40 minutes old shortly thereafter, before Lachie Bramble teed up Conor Nash to provide the first meaningful margin of the match.

Bramble, who had been prominent in the early going, was the driving force on the ground, and he was involved again as Vincent Adduci stretched the Hawks’ advantage to three goals nearing time on.

When Ed Phillips drilled his running shot on goal the game was suddenly on the cusp of being blown apart.

Northern found a response to stay in touch, but goals to Greene and Brooksby capped a superb seven-goal second quarter.

Sadly for Bramble, his day was cut short late in the half. The Hawks midfielder had amassed 17 disposals through two quarters and was, by his coach’s reckoning, the outstanding player on the ground.

The rain arrived as promised in the third term and predictably turned the contest into a slog. Box Hill split six goals with their visitors, with six-pointers from the boots of Phillips, Saunders and, of course, Emerson Jeka.

Jeka’s fourth came just in the nick of time for the Hawks, who had weathered the ‘Ants best spell of the game and needed all the breathing room they could muster to avoid a tense final term.

That snap from Jeka was even more important when the Bullants drew first blood early in the last. Four goals late on a wet day on a heavy deck was a tall order, but there was time enough if Northern was good enough.

Relief came from an unlikely source five minutes later, with the impressive Ned Reeves doing it himself from a boundary throw in deep in attacking fifty. The developing big man had enjoyed another strong showing in the ruck and around the ground and a goal was just reward for a good performance.

The backs group of De Wit, Le Grice, Greaves, Beasley and Pepper had applied the clamps. Lead by the skipper, Damian Mascitti, they were beginning to provide significant drive off half back.

The run and ball use of Adduci and Nash were central to Brooksby’s second of the afternoon, before Nash snapped a superb right foot curler from 40 for his second.

Any designs the Irishman had on goal of the day were short-lived, however, when Emerson Jeka produced a sublime 45m check-side for his fifth of the day. It was truly the icing on the cake for Jeka, who’d marked brilliantly all day, kicked superbly and amassed 20 touches in a best on ground display.

There was time for one more and fittingly it came from the right foot of Fergus Greene. The former Western Bulldog had worked tirelessly all afternoon and was duly rewarded with his third from a well taken set shot.

Box Hill

2.4

9.4

12.6

17.10 112

Northern Bullants

2.4

4.5

7.6

8.8 56


Best:
Jeka, Newcombe, Adduci, Mascitti, Bramble, Reeves

Goals: Jeka 5, Greene 3, Nash, Brooksby, Phillips 2, Adduci, Saunders, Reeves

Disposals: Newcombe 22, Mynott 21, Adduci 20, Jeka 20, Mascitti 18, Walker 18

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