SENIORS: Hawks inch towards top spot after overcoming the Northern Blues

Box Hill has drawn level at the top of the Peter Jackson VFL ladder after accounting for a resilient Northern Blues by 28 points at Box Hill City Oval on Sunday.

The Hawks were made to fight for it early, though managed to establish a clear gap from the Blues during the second half.

Jonothan Simpkin was the standout for the Hawks, collecting 36 disposals and three goals in a best on ground performance while Jonathan O’Rourke was also prominent with 28 disposals.

Of the three goals, his first goal was particularly special, as he unleashed a torpedo from 90-metres out that travelled 60 metres through the air before bouncing the remaining thirty metres for a goal.

Speaking after the victory, Simpkin was pleased to be running into a purple patch after a moderate start to the season.

“It was probably one of my better games for the year,” said Simpkin.

“I’m starting to get a bit of form building up after a slow start which is good.

“The goal was a bit of a lucky one I think, I just tried to surge it forward, managed to get on to a torp and it skidded through nicely.

“In the end, it was just good for the team to play some good footy and get the win.”

With the rain once again falling upon Box Hill City Oval, the Hawks were greeted to a very even contest in the first quarter.

A goal from a 45-metre set shot on the boundary to Schoenmakers got Box Hill and the key-position player off to the perfect start, as confidence begun to ooze from the forward right from the word go.

Despite the positive start, Box Hill weren’t able to kick consecutive goals in the first quarter, as the Blues managed to continually peg the Hawks back any time the grand finalists threatened to establish a lead.

Simpkin’s goal of the year contender was enough to claim the lead at the first break, with the Hawks holding a fragile five-point lead at the first break.

The fragility of the lead was on full display immediately in the second quarter, as the Blues opened the goal tally for the term to draw the scores level. It was the closest the Blues would come from the remainder of the day, as Miles’ first goal followed by Schoenmakers’ second finally provided Box Hill with consecutive goals.

A further two goals to the Blues’ one was enough to establish a 19-point lead at half-time.

Determined not to allow the Blues back into the game, the Hawks battled out a stalemate in the opening of the third quarter before O’Brien and Grimley each slotted their second goal to establish a five-goal lead that would be maintained for the remainder of the game.

The Blues had a faint glimmer of pulling off something remarkable at three-quarter time, with the margin sitting at 26 points, but any fairy-tale ending was quickly put to bed as Box Hill put through the opening three goals of the final quarter to effectively end the game as a contest.

A couple of late consolation goals for the Blues managed to reign the margin back in but it didn’t stop the sun from shining on Box Hill City Oval, with a rainbow ultimately resting alongside the scoreboard which showed a 28-point victory to Box Hill.

Now sitting on five wins from six games, the Hawks find themselves jointly on top of the ladder despite having had a bye.

The third-placed Hawks will now clash with second-placed Port Melbourne on Saturday, 6 June at Box Hill City Oval with of only 0.01 per cent separating the two teams on the ladder.

The game will broadcast within Victoria on Channel 7, with coverage beginning from 12pm and the game itself commencing at 12:12pm.


Box Hill Hawks  3.1  7.3  10.6  15.6    (96)

Northern Blues 2.2   4.2   6.4   10.8   (68)

Goals: Schoenmakers 3, Simpkin 3, O’Brien 2, Grimley 2, Miles 2, Iles, Willsmore, McEvoy

Best: Simpkin, Iles, Schoenmakers, O’Rourke, Gibson, Whitecross


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