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McEvoy puts up his hand for first final

Peter McEvoy of Box Hill in action during the VFL 1st Qualifying Final match between Port Melbourne and Box Hill Hawks at North Port Oval in Melbourne on August 30, 2014. (Photo: Theo Karanikos/AFL Media)
Peter McEvoy of Box Hill in action during the VFL 1st Qualifying Final match between Port Melbourne and Box Hill Hawks at North Port Oval in Melbourne on August 30, 2014. (Photo: Theo Karanikos/AFL Media)

HAWTHORN ruckman Ben McEvoy has given himself every opportunity to return to the side for next week's qualifying final, kicking four goals in an impressive display in the VFL on Saturday.

McEvoy was the key difference in Box Hill's 24-point win over Port Melbourne – his height in the ruck and up forward proving too difficult to cover for the under-sized Borough.

Finding himself out of the side at the expense of preferred ruck duo David Hale and Jonathan Ceglar, the 25-year-old was especially dangerous when he was isolated deep in the forward line.

His pack marking was superb and he was solid in ruck contests around the ground as well.

Alex Woodward – who played two senior games in round 18 and 19 – also put his hand up for a berth in the Hawks' finals side with a best afield display.

Woodward's contested work around stoppages was outstanding, while Mitch Hallahan was also prominent.

Box Hill coach Marco Bello told AFL.com.au McEvoy's attitude since being demoted has been exemplary.

"That's the first question the senior coaches ask. It's not about how well he went, it's more about, 'How was his attitude? How well did he buy into the Box Hill culture?'

"He's been sensational. He comes here and gives his time and knowledge. I'm sure he doesn't want to be here but you wouldn't notice by the smile he's got on his face."

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said earlier that McEvoy had not been ruled out of the running come finals.

"McEvoy's out at the minute, but he's really stiff to be out of the side," Clarkson told SEN.

"He's performed pretty incredibly for us throughout the course of the year.

"At the moment Ceglar and Hale have got that responsibility.

"Who knows what the mix up will be next week."

Bello was also glowing about Woodward's game.

"In that second half, I thought he was phenomenal, he just put himself in and under at every contest and just willed himself from contest to contest," Bello said.

Sam Grimley, who was equal winner of the Frosty Miller Medal with former Tiger and Port's Daniel Connors, also booted four goals for the victors.

Box Hill 16.6 (102) defeated Port Melbourne 12.6 (78).