ROUND 7: Match Report

A brave Box Hill came up just short against an undefeated Richmond, losing by 8-points in a bruising contest at the Swinburne Centre on Sunday.

The Hawks sat in pole position at the final break, trailing by only two-points and kicking towards the Punt Road end where 13 of the match’s 15 goals had been scored.

But the reigning premiers could only add two further majors, as Richmond – courtesy of two Mabior Chol goals – willed themselves to victory in front of a vocal home crowd.

The blockbuster clash began in pristine and sunny conditions, as a crowd of thousands bustled into the gates at Punt Road Oval to get a taste of the action before the AFL sides battled it out at the MCG.

The pressure was hot early, and Richmond was even hotter.

Tiger fans were buzzing at the sight of the returning Daniel Rioli who wasted no time in laying two bone-crunching tackles to open proceedings. Ballard and Weller were instrumental at the coal-face, allowing the Tigers to continually surge the ball forward in packs.

A stiff breeze towards the Punt Road end aided Richmond with a flood of forward entries, as the home side piled on 12-4 inside 50s for the term.

However, experienced Box Hill defenders Kaiden Brand, David Mirra and Damian Mascitti were resolute under siege and absorbed Richmond’s hot start with vital intercept marks. Although not troubling the scoreboard, the Hawks were content in restricting the Tigers to a 14-point lead at quarter-time.

The visitors came out with greater intensity and endeavour towards the contest in the second term.

In starting to win the critical contests and using their trademark overlap run and carry, the Hawks took advantage of the wind and turned the match on its head.

Jarryd Roughead wasted no time in floating through a snap off his trusty left boot, kick-starting the Hawks to a flurry of four goals in eight minutes.

An undisciplined Richmond gifted Box Hill a further two goals. A 50m free-kick handed to Jackson Ross on a platter, resulted in his second major for the term.

The Hawks had hit their straps; nothing was getting past Kaiden Brand in defence (eight marks, four intercepts) while Marc Pittonet feasted on 22 hitouts.

In the space of a quarter Box Hill had kept the league leaders goalless and kicked six of its own to take a 22-point lead into half-time.

As the match entered the second half, both teams went goal-for-goal in a see-sawing affair.

It seemed whenever Richmond would draw closer; Box Hill always had the answer to strike back.

Richmond’s Dan Butler was producing an inspiring performance, proving to be the game breaker in the midfield. He capped off a brilliant coast-to-coast play for his third major of the day, with his electric running goal bringing the house down.

When Mav Weller took a strong contested mark at the top of the square and converted, Richmond had stormed back to kick three in a row and level the scores.

It set the match up for a blockbuster final term.

A ferocious and brutal final 30 minutes unfolded as both teams did not give an inch.

Richmond struck first with a vital goal against the breeze, courtesy of a scintillating snap from Blake Grewar.

Box Hill responded, with Brayden Kilpatrick once again stepping up in a big moment, slotting a 40-metre goal on the run to bring the margin back to one-point.

Enter Mabior Chol.

The Richmond big man took control of a match hanging in the balance, taking advantage of a free kick deep in attack for his first major, and streamed into an open goal to nail his second.

Box Hill desperately fought on until the end, with a Mat Walker goal in the dying stages bringing the margin back to 8-points.

But ultimately it was too little, too late.

A nine-goal second-half ensured Richmond remained undefeated for its sixth win for the season.

Richmond’s Dan Butler was exceptional with three damaging goals, 17 disposals and seven inside 50s in a match-winning performance.

Tiger Patrick Naish continued his outstanding season to top the disposals tally with 28, while Jacob Townsend and Daniel Rioli led Richmond’s overwhelming pressure in combining for 12 tackles.

Hawk midfielder Daniel Howe was Box Hill’s best player on the day, battling desperately to collect 25 disposals and laying five tackles.

The in-form Marc Pittonet dominated the ruck battle to accumulate 42 hitouts, while Jackson Ross slotted another three goals to take his season tally to 13.

Box Hill Assistant Coach Marco Bello spoke post-match on the side’s disappointment at falling just short to the league leaders.

The boys are deflated,” he said.

“They understood coming into this game it was going to be a tough contest.”

“Our second quarter was obviously our better quarter, but we just weren’t able to sustain it for long enough. It’s disappointing, and the boys are feeling it because they thought they were in with a chance.”

Box Hill had its opportunities in the last term, but lacked the polish and finishing touches required to win the match.

“Our ball use was poor going inside 50 (in the last term). We were able to get our hands on it, but it looked like it was dirty football all day,” Bello said.

“We weren’t able to capitalise on any clearances or open play that we got.

“Take nothing away from Richmond, their pressure was outstanding.”

Although just falling short, Box Hill will take confidence from its blistering six-goal second quarter and the impressive form from defenders David Mirra and Kaiden Brand who combined to take 21 marks.

According to Bello, it is a solid sounding block for the club to take into its Round 8 clash with Collingwood next Sunday.

“We know that our system works,” Bello said.

“It’s about doing that for long enough.”




BOX HILL HAWKS    0.0  6.2  8.2 11.4  (70)

RICHMOND TIGERS  2.2  2.4 7.10  11.12  (78)



Box Hill Hawks: Ross 3, Minchington 2, Walker 1 Byrne, Doreian, Jones, Kilpatrick, Roughead

Richmond:Butler 3, Chol 2, Thompson 2, Grewar 1, Miller, Silvestro, Weller



Box Hill Hawks: Howe 25, Mirra 23, Kilpatrick 20, Mascitti 18, Meadows 18

Richmond:Naish 28, Eggmolesse-Smith 23, Morris 21, Turner 20




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