Hawks Big Second Half
The Box Hill Hawks rebounded boldly in defeating a gallant Frankston in their Peter Jackson VFL clash at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday afternoon. Earlier, in their Development Squad encounter, the fledgling Hawks put on a brilliant display of wet weather football to overwhelm Frankston under a dark slate coloured sky. The heavy precipitation during a good proportion of the early match gave an insight as to what was to come as Russell Hopkins reports.
Frankston with several former Box Hill Hawks players now complimenting their list including Leigh Kitchin, Dylan Van Unen and Jackson Sketcher had sound knowledge of their Box Hill opposition and were not totally unfamiliar to the venue. The brave supporters who attended in the chill and damp could sense Frankston were eager to cause an upset and were not to be taken lightly.
Frankston started like a sprinter at the barriers and controlled the ball in the early minutes. Threatening to get off to a flyer despite the conditions, the Dolphins dominated proceedings but just couldn’t hurt the Hawks on the scoreboard. In what became a good old fashioned slog of a first quarter, the Dolphins kept Box Hill goalless but could only manage one solitary major for their efforts to lead at quarter time through Daniel Corp.
Early in the second stanza Frankston captain Luke Potts limped painfully off the ground with what looked like a knee injury assisted by trainers. Fingers were crossed by all in attendance that it was none too serious and that he would be fit to resume his solid role at half back keeping the Box Hill forwards in check. Early fears were not to be realised when after assessment and treatment by the Dolphin’s physiotherapist including knee strapping at half time, he was cleared and bravely resumed play, although his injury restricted his output for the rest of the game.
In what had been a see-saw battle early in the match with neither side asserting ascendency on the game, this changed in the ‘premiership quarter’. Box Hill playing a longer and more direct brand of football broke opened the Frankston defence with Luke Lowden taking an excellent contested mark from a lengthy pass and kicking truly from 40 meters to put Box Hill in front. The glowing red Ford imprinted Sherrin, which had previously displayed soap like qualities towards the players was suddenly starting to grip. The wet conditions eased as the quarter progressed. Brad Hill, only too happy to be on the receiving end of a long bomb on the edge of the goalsquare, marked and showed no trepidation in kicking the goal with the ball ending up on Middleborough Road. With Box Hill kicking four unanswered goals and Frankston only managing four behinds, the Hawks cracked open the game and threatened to run away with it.
An early goal in the last saw Box Hill destroy any sniff of a Frankston upset with Box Hill going on to win 11.9.75 to Frankston 4.15.39. Frankston will rue their missed opportunities early in the game, whilst Box Hill will be happy to take a win from a good performance but with plenty of work still to be done to contend and seriously challenge in finals.
Schneider was solid for Box Hill winning plenty of the ball and more importantly using it well. Cheney, Murphy and Hill did their chances of a Hawthorn recall no harm whilst the McCauley/Lowden ruck partnership was impressive against the Frankston duo of Forato/Delahunty. Bruce worked industriously all day and was a pivotal performer in restricting Frankston’s output, clearing the ball out of defence tirelessly, but his disposal wasn’t always efficient. McCauley deserves special mention for not only his ruck efforts but for kicking three majors on a day that was tough for scoring.
Box Hill host Casey this week and will be looking to add another win to their mixed start to the season whilst Frankston clash with Werribee- also at home.
Photo: Robert Stevens