Round Nine Match Report

Box Hill has succumbed to a second consecutive defeat, beaten by Werribee at City Oval on Saturday.

It means back-to-back losses for the first time since rounds 17 and 18 last season and leaves Chris Newman’s men with a record of five-and-three ahead of it’s second bye of the year.

Werribee came into the contest 13th on the VFL ladder with a record of one win from seven starts, whilst the Hawks sat fifth and had the chance to jump into the top two with a win.

The hosts started positively enough, with lively small forward Billy Murphy in the thick of the action from the off. It was his kick that found Langford retreating to the square, allowing the premiership Hawk to kick the first of the day.

Across half-back David Mirra was proving to be a calming influence, marking well and marshalling the back six, whilst Kaiden Brand and Kurt Heatherley worked well in tandem on the bigger bodied Tigers forwards.

Werribee’s first was somewhat against the run of play, and the Hawks set about resuming the attack from the resulting centre bounce.

Marc Pittonet, named his side’s best on the day, was instrumental in giving his mids first use, and following a handful of attacks Jackson Ross nailed his first of the day following some sharp work to read the ball off a pack.

The visitors soon found themselves a foothold and back-to-back goals to Maloney and Hooper handed them a narrow lead.

The Hawks’ response was excellent.

Nick Evans, playing his 50th senior match, lead a sweeping transition down the wing, trading hand-passes with Whitecross before kicking long to Murphy, who rose well to mark and finished even better from 45.

Will Hams showed remarkable courage shortly after to go back with the flight and deny a potentially dangerous Werribee attack, which laid the foundation for Murphy to hit-up the leading Mitch Lewis inside 50. The young forward’s set shot was typically on target and Box Hill had a handy break.

Pittonet turned defender late-on, executing a vital spoil to deny a near certain Tigers goal, before following up at ground level to clear the danger. It was this effort that ultimately lead to Murphy’s second.

With the ball in the Hawks’ forward pocket, Murphy did brilliantly to keep it alive, evading a tackler and playing a one-two with Mitch Lewis. With the angle opened up Billy snapped truly for a two-goal lead deep into time on.

Some desperate defence wasn’t enough to deny an answering Werribee goal, with a scramble in the square proving just enough to bridge the gap as the quarter came to a close.

The Hawks could only manage a couple of half chances to start the second, though they’d established a measure of control across midfield and half-back to keep the Tigers at bay.

Murphy kicked his third for the contest after eight minutes, reading Lovell’s long kick towards goal best to gather at the back of the pack and defy the tricky bounce and angle to snap inventively.

With a game high 14-point lead and the contest beginning to be played on their terms the Hawks looked to be in a good position.

But things change quickly in footy.

What started as a pair of goals against the run of play became a Tiger surge. Five goals in seven minutes well and truly turned the tide and all of a sudden it was the visitors with a game-high 16-point lead.

A response was needed at the start of the third and a response was what came.

Conor Nash got amongst the goal-kickers when some excellent forward pressure created a turnover and the Irishman was on the spot to convert a tidy snap.

Just like the first term, good stoppage work and spread were the foundation for an improved productivity, and when Cousins goalled following a strong mark on the lead the margin was just four points.

Conor Glass produced an outstanding defensive spoil running back with the flight, and again the Hawks used such an effort as a springboard for goals of their own.

Mitch Lewis and Jackson Ross marked and kicked their second goals of the match within 90 seconds of one another, before Lewis again marked brilliantly and kicked truly for his third and a two-goal lead.

With the match delicately poised and the clock ticking Werribee managed the timeliest of replies after the siren, the goal giving them a glimmer of hope heading into the last.

The final term played out in cagey fashion. Despite the Hawks’ best efforts it was Werribee who landing the most telling blows.

On nine minutes they tied the scores. Following a period of intense back-and-forth and a handful of half chances they took the lead on seventeen minutes following a full ground transition.

With time running out Box Hill refused to throw in the towel, instead throwing everything into finding the goal(s) needed to get back into the contest.

Sadly a pair of minor scores were all that followed and the siren sounded with the hosts seven points in arrears.

Box Hill 5.2 6.4 11.4 11.7 73
Werribee 4.1 9.2 10.4 12.8 80

Murphy, Lewis 3, Ross 2, Langford, Cousins, Nash

Disposals: Cousins 25, Whitecross 24, O’Rourke 23, Ross 21, Hanrahan 21, Langford 20

Best: Pittonet, Ross, Cousins, Whitecross, Hanrahan, Murphy


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