IT'S back to the drawing board for Box Hill following a disappointing 52-point loss at City Oval on Saturday.
The loss continued the Hawks rollercoaster start, with Damian mCarroll's side failing to win two consecutive matches.
Sitting precariously inside the top eight, next Saturday’s encounter against North Ballarat shapes as an important clash.
Casey jumped Box Hill from the start of the match and never looked back as their five goal to one first half set up the victory.
After the loss, the Box Hill Coach said he was disappointed with his side’s performance.
“We had more possessions than them but we didn’t use it well enough and we didn’t take our chances in the first half when we could have,” Carroll said.
“We had opportunities today in the first and second to kick goals, they did too but we just didn’t take them especially in that second quarter.”
Undersized in defence following the return of Stephen Gilham to Hawthorn and losing Jarrad Boumann to an appendix operation, Box Hill struggled to cope with the potent Scorpions forward line.
“I thought we were a bit undersized, but I thought the backs actually stood up quite well. I thought Murphy and Mirra were quite good but we let it get down to easily at times and that put us under pressure,” Carroll said.
The Scorpions were the quicker of the two teams to adapt to the tricky conditions at City Oval, with Rian McGough taking advantage of Box Hill’s slow start to kick the first major of the day.
The Hawks slowly worked their way into the contest during the first quarter, however missed opportunities let the home side down as they went into quarter time goalless only managing to register five behinds.
It was not until early in the second term where the Box Hill faithful were able to cheer the first major of the day.
Danny Hughes' snap from the boundary line bounced fortuitously through for a goal, however it was to be the Hawks’ only goal of the half as inaccuracy continues to mar the home side.
Casey’s half time lead of 24 points looked manageable at the main break with Damian Carroll needing a big lift from his side.
Early goals from the Scorpions courtesy of Michael Riseley, Liam Jurrah and Luke Tapscott as well as the continued midfield dominance of Luke Tynan and the Melbourne listed Rory Taggart put paid to any slim hopes the Hawks had of making a comeback.
The final term saw the Hawks salvage some pride on what was otherwise a disappointing day. Ruck duo Broc McCauley and Adam Pattison booted majors as did small forward Derick Wanganeen.
Whilst Danny Hughes became Box Hill’s only multiple goal kicker as the Hawks won the final term kicking four goals to three.
Adding insult to injury, experienced Hawthorn midfielder Chance Bateman’s day ended early when the veteran left the field minutes into the second term heavily favouring his right shoulder.
“We were obviously disappointed to lose Bateman in the second quarter and that didn’t help us with rotations, we hope he’s okay but it could be serious,” Carroll said.
Tom Murphy: Solid performance under tough circumstances. The experienced defender was charged with kick out duties for much of the day and finished the game with 21 disposals.
Angus Litherland: One of Box Hill’s best. Stood up in the absence of Gilham and Boumann in defence and finished with a game high 28 possessions for the Hawks.
Taylor Duryea: Serviceable down back, keeping former Melbourne skipper Brad Green to 14 disposals whilst collecting 19 of his own.
Kyle Cheney: Been in and out of the Hawthorn side this year, Cheney’s rebound from defence is always a key for Box Hill, finished with 18 possessions.
Jordan Kelly: Didn’t collect a lot of the footy down back. Like most of the Box Hill defence, found the going tough dealing with wave after wave of Casey attacks.
Bradley Hill: His speed is always dangerous as his ability to pressure the opposition. Finished the game with 15 possessions and three tackles.
Cameron Bruce: Box Hill’s best in the middle, as always Bruce looked assured in possession. His six clearances in midfield was Box Hill’s best as was his 12 tackles.
Chance Bateman: His day finished prematurely seven minutes into the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Bateman’s class was severely missed by the Hawks for the rest of the afternoon.
Will Langford: Toiled hard in midfield and down back in characteristic fashion. Finished the game with 13 disposals and four tackles.
Jack Gunston: Had limited opportunities up forward and pushed further up the ground in search of the footy. Finished with 13 disposals.
Derick Wanganeen: Like Gunston, opportunities up forward for Wanganeen were few and far between. His last quarter goal as he roved the pack was a rare highlight for the Hawks.
Luke Lowden: Worked manfully in the ruck with his willingness to get to contests around the ground a highlight of his game. Finished with 14 disposals.
Adam Pattison: Worked hard up forward to provide a target but was ultimately starved of opportunities. Moved in and out of the ruck in the second half and collected a respectable 19 possessions.
Broc McCauley: Again one of Box Hill’s best, McCauley’s run and spread around the ground was again a feature of his game. Was the Hawks’ dominant ruckman with 18 hit outs and finished with one goal.
Tom Schneider: A quite game for the midfielder compared with his blistering start to the 2012 season. Still managed to be one of Box Hill’s highest ball getters finishing with 21 disposals and four tackles.
Amos Frank: With limited opportunities up forward Frank worked hard but struggled to impact the scoreboard.
Box Hill Hawks 0.5, 1.10, 1.14, 5.15 (45)
Casey Scorpions 2.5, 5.10, 10.14, 13.19 (97)
Goals: Box Hill: Hughes (2), Wanganeen, Pattison, McCauley
Casey: Fieldsend (2), Taggart (2), Blease, Watts, Cook, Riseley, Gent, Tapscott, Jurrah, McGough, Martin
Best: Box Hill: Murphy, Mirra, Pattison, Hughes, Jones, Bruce
Casey: Tynan, Taggart, Davis, Plummer, Fieldsend, Nicholson
*Image courtesy of Jenny Owens.