Suns Eclipse Hawks on Gold Coast

The Box Hill Hawks have succumbed to a third defeat on the season, beaten by a rampant Gold Coast Suns on Sunday afternoon.

As even and watchable a contest as you’ll find through two quarters, the ladder-leading home side blew the Hawks away with a 10-goal-to-one third term to turn a two-point half-time advantage into a match-winning 54-point lead with one to play.

While the Hawks made a better fist of the last term, managing 4.3 to the Gold Coast’s 6.1, come the final siren the score line had ballooned to 64-points.

The Suns attacking prowess was on full display between the 31 minute mark of the second term and 36 minute mark of the third, wherein they flexed their muscle to lay on 10 unanswered majors – eight of which came after the 10 minute mark of the quarter – to run away with the contest.

To that point the momentum and initiative had ebbed and flowed, with both sides enjoying periods on the front and back foot. 

All told Box Hill finished +14 in disposals, -3 in inside 50s, -39 in hit-outs but +9 in clearance, -28 in marks and -12 in tackles. While the old saying is true, styles make fights, this was a match decided on front half efficiency as much as anything else.

Credit must go to the home side and their unerring accuracy in front of goal, which saw them kick an incredible 24.5 for the afternoon, including an exceptional 16.2 after half time.

And for the all the Hawks will look to improve on and address in the coming week they lead the table topping Suns on their home deck for 46 minutes, yet walk away with an 11 goal loss.

Box Hill jumped out of the blocks under a hot Gold Coast sun, making the most of a fast start to build a 21-point lead after just 11-and-a-half minutes.

Goals to Josh Ward, Jaylon Thorpe and Cooper Stephens had done the damage, while around the ground it was brown and gold jumpers dictating the pace, tempo and flow of the game.

So good was the Hawks’ early efforts, Gold Coast had to wait until the 17-and-a-half minute mark for their first score of the day.

But as well as Box Hill had started the term, Gold Coast finished it just as well. Goals to Day, Graham and Eckersely drew them to within two at the first change. 

The Hawks again started the next period the better, but couldn’t find the goals to reward their positivity and intent. A trio of behinds inched them away from The Suns, before Alex Sexton gave his side their first lead of the match. 

Jed Rule answered within a minute to hand his side the advantage, before Gold Coast wrestled it right back with a six-pointer of their own just a few minutes later.

The Hawks had looked to stolen a march on their hosts as the term entered time on thanks to goals from Fergus Greene and Thorpe, which produced a nice little buffer of 11-points, before McLaughlin and Chol combined for three majors in four minutes to turn the game on its head once again.

Needing a steadier it was Greene who stepped up, snapping a beauty off hands deep in attacking 50 with about 30 seconds left in the first half. This goal, his second, would conclude the scoring in a breathless, brilliant first hour of footy.

Happy enough with how things were going, Box Hill couldn’t have bargained for what came next.

The Suns piled on 10 goals in 33 minutes and in doing so left the Hawks in their wake. It was sensational, destructive football.

Josh Bennetts kicked an excellent set shot more-or-less on the siren to break the Gold Coast’s run of goals, but the damage had been done and, barring a miracle, the points had been won.

With Hugh Beasley sidelined with a knock and Fionn O’Hara & Jaylon Thorpe hamstrung by niggles of their own, the Hawks tried to reset at the three-quarter-time huddle but could do little to stop The Suns from picking up where they left off once play got back underway.

Day, McLaughlin and Sexton added four more between them to extend their lead out to 79-points, before Brandon Ryan kicked his first goal since trading the red and white of Preston for the Brown and Gold of Hawthorn. 

It was but a brief pause on the traffic to the scoreboard end, because soon enough The Suns’ lead was beyond 80-points thanks to back-to-back goals to Tsitas and Sharp.

The Hawks found some attacking rhythm late-on via goals to Greene, Damian Mascitti and Denver Grainger-Barras – with the two defenders taking their chances expertly on the run – but, in reality, they were little more than consolation. 

Hard-working midfielder Josh Ward was Box Hill’s best performed player on the day, racking up a game-high 38 touches, seven inside 50s (ranking him equal second on the ground), five clearances, four marks and a goal. 

In trying circumstances and with his team on the back foot for large spells, Ward’s willingness to compete, crack in and attempt to will his team forward was a highlight.

The big-bodied Ned Long was another to impress, using his size in the contest to win 18 touches, three inside 50s, two clearances, take two marks and record a game-high seven tackles.

Developing utility Jai Serong found himself at the coal face in defence and, with Beasley down just after half-time, acquitted himself well to finish with 17 touches, six rebound 50s, five marks and a tackle.

Finn Maginness was also named among his side’s best players. Like Long he competed all afternoon and even when things started to come undone attempted to play positively. He’d tally 17 disposals, five clearances and take four marks.

Speedster Bailey MacDonald was lively, deploying dare and dash when in possession to great effect at various points in the afternoon. His 13 touches included three inside 50s, two clearances and four marks.

And, lastly, Chad Wingard was recognised for his contributions on a tough day for forwards. The classy veteran had 18 possessions, including seven inside 50s, a clearances, two marks and a vital hand in multiple goals.

The Hawks will re-group in the coming week before welcoming Port Melbourne to Box Hill City Oval on Saturday July 1st.

Box Hill




12.13 85

Gold Coast




24.5 149

Ward, Long, Serong, Maginness, MacDonald, Wingard

Goals: Greene 3, Thorpe 2, Ward, Stephens, Ryan, Rule, Mascitti, Grainger-Barras

Disposals: Ward 38, Stephens 24, Hustwaite 22, Brown 20, Wingard 18, Long 18

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