Round 22 Match Report: Swans Too Good

The Box Hill Hawks’ have finished the home and away season with an eleven-and-seven record, a return good enough to qualify the brown and gold for the finals.

Clint Proctor’s men entered the game knowing a win would secure September football and see the fifth placed Box Hill leapfrog the fourth placed Swans into the top four.

The Hawks’ 18th and final fixture of the season proper didn’t go our way, however, beaten at home to the tune of 57-points by a strong Sydney Swans outfit. 

The result meant Box Hill’s finals qualification was briefly in jeopardy, but while Richmond’s narrow win over Frankston was enough to draw the Tigers and Hawks level on points, it left the yellow and black short on percentage.

The Hawks and Swans each won two quarters on the day, but it was the Swans’ third term that proved the difference. The visitors kicked away with the wind at their backs to record 7.5 to the Hawks’ solitary behind.

Sydney’s control of the contest was illustrated on the stats sheet, where they finished +16 in marks, +16 in hit outs, +14 in total disposals, +8 in contested possessions and +11 in inside 50s.

For Box Hill the game was as much about efficiency and connection in the front half as anything else, something Proctor and his coaches will focus on in the coming week.

Veteran Hawk Liam Shiels finished as his side’s best, tallying an equal team-high 31 touches, five tackles, five marks, nine clearances, six inside 50s and five rebound 50s.

‘Pup’ was a shining light on a tough day for those in brown and gold, noticeable for his clean hands and poise in traffic.

The hard-nosed Brady Grey was another to impress. Deployed in a lockdown role, Grey stuck to his task all afternoon.

Key back Kyle Hartigan was another to play well. ‘Harts’ had his hands full down back owing to the size and height of the Swans keys and acquitted himself well in trying circumstances.

Hawthorn’s number 28 stymied attack after attack to finish with 18 touches, seven marks and six rebound 50s.

Live-wire small forward Ben Cavarra was the Hawks’ major attacking threat, kicking an equal game-high four goals from 14 touches.

Cavarra’s goals took his season total to 41, a figure good enough to confirm a third place finish in the ‘Frosty’ Miller Medal.

A best and fairest winning midfielder during his time at Frankton, ‘Cav’ turned back the clock during stints on ball, injecting himself inside the contest to give his side a spark.

Also in the midfield, Cal Porter capped off a fine home and away season with another strong showing.

A Col Austen Trophy contender, Porter had 31 touches and an equal game-high 10 clearances. 

The Swans started the contest kicking with a slight breeze to the Davey Street end and after a period of feeling out kicked four goals in 11 minutes.

Cavarra pulled one back as the first term entered time on, but Sydney finished things as they started by adding a fifth.

It was during this term that the Hawks lost Sam Butler for the rest of the day, with the youngster pulled from the game having suffered a head knock.

It was a strong start from the visitors, but the sides wouldn’t know what par was until both teams had enjoyed the best of the conditions.

Jackson Callow gave Box Hill the perfect start to the second quarter, before a trio of minor scores both underlined an improvement and halted the hosts’ momentum.

The teams traded behinds – including one from the boot of Stu Horner, which would’ve been his first VFL goal if on target – before Cavarra kicked his second at the 22nd minute mark. 

Having drawn to within a manageable 12-points, a little wind was taken out of Box Hill’s sails when Sydney’s Harry Morrison converted his first and the visitors’ sixth in the shadows of half time. 

Come the resumption of play it was the Swans who made their move. They produced the first 10 scores of the second half – including six goals – and took a 63-point lead into the final change.

Peter Ladhams made matters worse for the Hawks when the fourth quarter got underway, kicking his first of the day, before the sides cancelled each other out for the next 10 minutes.

The scoring drought was broken by Box Hill young gun Mitch Sruk, who kicked his first VFL goal to underline a promising outing. The Eastern Ranges and Rowville product recorded 15 disposals for the afternoon – including an equal game-high seven inside 50s.

Cavarra kicked his third and fourth of the day either side of the clock ticking past time on, only for Sydney to finish the game with the final goal of the afternoon from Morrison. 

The Hawks now wait on the result of Carlton’s match against Collingwood to determine our week one opponent. 

Best: Shiels, Grey, Hartigan, Cavarra, Porter

Goals: Cavarra 4, Callow, Sruk

Disposals: Shiels 31, Porter 31, Mascitti 25, Phillips 25, Jeka 23, Horner 20

Box Hill




6.9 45





15.12 102

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