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Langford impresses in Box Hill loss

Grand Final: Box Hill highlights Watch highlights from Box Hill's Grand Final loss to Williamstown
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Jed Anderson of Box Hill handballs to team mate Will Langford during the 2015 VFL Grand Final match between the Williamstown Seagulls and the Box Hill Hawks at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia on September 27, 2015. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Will Langford was among Box Hill Hawks' best in their grand final defeat.

HAWTHORN'S Will Langford has given himself every chance of a Grand Final recall with an encouraging display through the midfield for Box Hill in Sunday's VFL decider at Etihad Stadium.

The 23-year-old's efforts were to little avail, however, as Williamstown defeated the Hawks by 54 points to claim its first VFL flag since 2003 (when it was aligned with Collingwood). 

While Box Hill stuck with Williamstown up until three-quarter time, the Seagulls put the game beyond doubt as they booted the last six goals of the contest to register the 18.12 (120) to 8.18 (66) win.

Langford, who was dropped after Hawthorn's qualifying loss to West Coast at Domain Stadium, pushed himself to every contest as he finished the game with 24 disposals, six tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s. 

It has been a frustrating season for Langford, who went close to winning last year's Norm Smith Medal with an outstanding performance against the Swans, as indifferent form and a medial ligament injury in his left knee restricted him to just 13 senior games.

Yet Langford's late-season form is a positive sign as the Hawks look to finalise their squad ahead of their bid for premiership three-peat against the Eagles at the MCG on Saturday.

Box Hill coach Marco Bello said Langford and his Hawthorn-listed teammates had plenty to fight for on Sunday.

"Will's played well in big games in the past and for him there was something a little bit extra to fight for with the opportunity to perhaps play in an AFL Grand Final next week," Bello said.

"I thought Angus Litherland was excellent off half-back, Jed Anderson was great and (Jonathan) Simpkin continually does what he does.

"I'm sure those guys will be in contention. These guys have done their chances no harm."

The club's senior team escaped unscathed from their preliminary final win over Fremantle on Friday night, leaving Hawthorn's match committee with an unenviable task this week.

Williamstown's Michael Gibbons picked up 28 disposals and 11 clearances to earn the Norm Goss Medal for best afield, constantly bursting clear from congestion to send the Seagulls forward. 

Williamstown ruckman Nick Meese (29 hit-outs and nine clearances) also won his battle with Hawthorn-listed big man Jonathon Ceglar.

The Seagulls had an abundance of options up forward as Cameron Lockwood, Dylan Conway and Andrew Gallucci all bagged three goals each.

For the Hawks, Jonathan Simpkin, who unluckily made way for the returning Cyril Rioli in last year's Grand Final, was the Hawks' best with a game-high 29 disposals and seven clearances. 

Livewire forward Jed Anderson also did his bit, kicking two outstanding goals from tight angles to go with his 19 disposals.


BOX HILL HAWKS   2.3    6.8    7.14      8.18 (66)
WILLIAMSTOWN     5.5    7.7    12.10    18.12 (120)                       

Box Hill: Sicily 2, Simpkin, Anderson, Grimley, Collins, Miles, Anderson
Williamstown: Lockwood 3, Conway 3, Gallucci 3, Anastasio 2, Masters 2, Tighe, Clouston, Banner, Gibbons, Carr
Box Hill: Simpkin, Langford, Whitecross, Willsmore, Anderson, O'Rourke
Williamstown: Gibbons, Meese, Banner, Jolley, Marcon, Carr, Masters

Crowd: 12,900 at Etihad Stadium



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