Round 6 Match Review

The Box Hill Hawks hosted the undefeated Casey Demons on Sunday afternoon, ultimately falling to the competition pacesetters by seven points.

The result moves the Hawks to two-and-three on the season and, having come up two points shy of Collingwood in round one, is the Club’s second single digit loss in the opening six rounds.

Although the Demons controlled proceedings for the most part to lead at every change, a committed and spirited Box Hill outfit proved impossible to shake, digging in to keep the contest alive and up for grabs until the final siren. 

The Hawks finished the contest +22 in disposals, +24 in marks and +7 in tackles, but conceded the statistical battle elsewhere to finish -17 in contested ball, -13 in handball receives, -28 in inside 50s, -19 in hit-outs and -10 in clearance.

Ed Phillips was Box Hill’s best performer on the day, with the hard-running wingman leading all comers on the ground in disposals (31) and marks (15), impressing his work rate and ability to cover the ground. He would also contribute a goal.

Just as he’d been for Max Bailey and Sam Mitchell in the past, former captain Damian Mascitti remains Clint Proctor’s Mr. Fix It. The reigning Col Austen Trophy winner plays and performs well wherever he’s asked and at whatever notice he’s given. He would contribute team highs in inside 50s (4) and rebound 50s (8) to go with his 24 disposals. 

Emerson Jeka turned in arguably his best performance of the year to date, presenting well all afternoon to boot three goals from four marks and 11 disposals. 

In defence it was the work of Stu Horner and James Blanck that caught the eye, with the two former Eastern Ranges products stepping up to tangle with and curtail the Demons’ forward threats when Hugh Beasley succumbed to injury.

To further endorse his positive early season form, 21-year-old Blanck was moved onto Mitch Brown when Beasley went down and kept the 76-game AFL veteran goalless. 

The Hawks started the game brightly enough, jagging two of the first three goals of the day to assume an early lead. Jeka got the ball rolling with a textbook set shot, before second-game ruckman Dave Brinker-Ritchie steered through the first of his VFL career shortly after. 

The Demons steadied with a trio of majors straddling the quarter time break as they looked to break the game open, only for Fergus Greene to kick his first to keep his side in touch and the margin to a manageable 10-points.

The game became an end-to-end affair when Casey’s Bailey Laurie responded in short order, before Greene answered with his second to edge the Hawks back within two goals at the half. 

The visitors got to work when play resumed and kicked out to a game-high 26-point lead midway through the third, but as had happened time and again the Hawks hung in thanks to goals to Jeka and Butler to set up a grandstand finish.

Trailing by 17-points at the last change, coach Clint Proctor implored his charges to believe in themselves, each other and their method; and to play their brand and take the opportunities it presented.

It produced the Hawks’ best period of the day, as goals to Jeka, Jai Serong and James Parsons in the space of eight all-action minutes gave the hosts their first lead since early in the opening term. 

Back-to-back goals to Casey’s Kade Chandler wrestled back the momentum and the lead, but Box Hill wouldn’t go away and clawed their way back into contention thanks to a superb running goal from Ben Cavarra.

Chandler’s third of the quarter came with 23-minutes played, reinstating the Demons’ 12-point lead and giving the Hawks the best part of five minutes to chase them down.

Box Hill continued to press and Ed Phillips’ 31st and final touch produced a clever goal just as time expired, condemning the Hawks to a frustrating albeit somewhat encouraging seven point defeat. 

The team will now look towards next Sunday’s clash against arch-rival Essendon at Windy Hill. 

Box Hill




11.6 (72)





10.19 (79)

Phillips, Grey, Mascitti, Howe, Horner, Blanck

Goals: Jeka 3, Greene 2, Phillips, Butler, Parsons, Serong, Cavarra, Brinker-Ritchie

Disposals: Phillips 31, De Wit 25, Mascitti 24, Howe 22, Porter 18, Cunico 18, Morris 17

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