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VFL: Hawks through to grand final

Preliminary Final: Box Hill highlights Watch highlights of Box Hill's Preliminary Final win on the weekend.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Teia Miles of Box Hill celebrates on the final siren during the 2015 VFL 2nd Preliminary Final match between the Box Hill Hawks and the Sandringham Zebras at North Port Oval, Melbourne, Australia on September 19, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Teia Miles celebrates Box Hill Hawks' nail-biting preliminary final win.

BOX Hill Hawks are through to their third consecutive VFL grand final after a nail-biting seven point preliminary final win over Sandringham.

In a thrilling final term, the Hawks lost the lead for the first time in the match, before regaining it late and holding on.

A late goal to Will Langford sealed the 12.17 (89) to 12.10 (82) victory on Saturday afternoon at North Port Oval.

The Hawks jumped out of the blocks early and got away to the perfect start.

Matt Spangher kicked the first goal of the game, before Jed Anderson quickly added a second.

Jonathan O'Rourke and Jonathan Simpkin were both influential in the first term, as the Hawks claimed a 29-point lead.

But the Zebras didn't finish second on the ladder without reason, and they hit back hard in the second term.

The Hawks lead was cut to 14 points at the half-time break, and a James Sicily mark and goal late in the third quarter ensured the Hawks entered the final term with an 11-point lead.

Box Hill's Marc Lock kicked the first goal of the opening term, but from there the Zebras kicked the next three goals to hit the front.

Both sides exchanged behinds, before Langford crumbed a marking contest and made no mistake from 15 metres out to seal a grand final berth.

Defender Matt Spangher was superb for the Hawks in defence, doing his chances of an AFL recall no harm, while Jonathan Simpkin and James Sicily were the other two Hawthorn-listed players named in Box Hill's best.

Sicily finished with three majors and Anderson two, while Simpkin racked up 34 disposals (22 kicks, 12 handballs) and Brendan Whitecross also found plenty of the ball, finishing with 32 disposals (20 kicks, 10 handballs) and 11 marks.

The Hawks will face the winner of tomorrow's preliminary final between Williamstown and Essendon at Etihad Stadium next Sunday.


SCORES

BOX HILL HAWKS     5.6     7.7     10.12     12.17 (89)
SANDRINGHAM     1.1     5.5     9.7     12.10 (82)

Goals: J. Sicily 3, J. Anderson 2, M. Lock 2, W. Langford, P. Lawlor, D. Willsmore, S. Grimley, M. Spangher
Best:
M. Spangher, N. Evans, S. Collins, J. Sicily, J. Simpkin, M. Lock


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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs