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VFL match report: R2

VFL: 2 in a row Max Bailey has coached his Box Hill Hawks to yet another victory on Sunday making it 2 in a row for the season so far.

The Box Hill Hawks have started its season with back-to-back wins, after a convincing 41-point victory over Sandringham on Sunday.

The Hawks proved far too strong and were unrelenting in overpowering the Zebra’s to kick 11-4 second-half goals to continue their unbeaten campaign.

The match commenced like a furnace under the Marvel Stadium roof, as the crowd who arrived early for the curtain raiser were treated to a hot and physical contest. Immense pressure on the ball carrier saw several bruising collisions early, none more so than when Damien Mascitti and Kade Answerth threw themselves onto a loose ball on the wing and collided in the second term.

Read: The talking points - R4

Young Hawk Nathan Boucher was electric from the first bounce and opened proceedings with an impressive running goal out of traffic. The dynamic small forward played the game of his life to top score for the Hawks with four majors, doubling his career tally in the process.

Skipper Andrew Moore then made no mistake in converting a routine set shot, but saw Sandringham fight back with superb consecutive snaps to Robbie Young and Sam Fox. When Zebra’s star Nick Hind capped off a brilliant link-up play with a long-running goal late in the term, Sandringham had taken a three-point lead into quarter-time.

The contest continued as an arm wrestle into the second term as both teams struggled for opportunities to hit the scoreboard. Sandringham looked the better team in dominating the contested ball and proved they were up for the challenge as the half time siren sounded with only three points in it.

However that was as close as the match remained, as Box Hill kicked into gear, like all champion teams do, to break open the game in the second half.

Boucher continued to put himself into dangerous positions and kicked his third major after the main break thanks to a long-range 50-metre set shot. The livewire then almost reeled in a mark of the year contender deep in the forward line, with the ball instead falling into the hands of the crumbing Jackson Ross who dribbled through the goal.

The Hawks were taking no prisoners in putting their foot down with efficient end-to-end ball movement. When Nathan Mullenger-McHugh joined in the party to kick his first goal for Box Hill from a tight-angled set shot, there was no chance of a Sandringham revival.

Ross capped off a prolific fortnight in front goal to kick three majors for the match and sit atop the VFL goal-kicking list. The rangy forward is emphatically making his mark on the league as he continues to impose his case for senior selection.

Changkuoth Jiath received praise from Box Hill Coach Max Bailey after the match for his defensive pressure to constantly halve and win contests in the Zebra’s forward line. Luke Meadows was a standout in the midfield for the Hawks with 30 disposals, while Andrew Moore produced another characteristic skipper’s performance with 28 disposals and a goal.

Sandringham midfielder Nick Hind starred for the Zebra’s with 39 disposals to lead all players on the field, while Luke Dunstan responded strongly to his demotion from St. Kilda with 37 disposals. Saint Billy Longer proved a force in the ruck with 39 hit outs.

Hawk Connor Glass had his leg caught in a twisting tackle in the third term and took no further part in the match. The Irishmen had impressed with 23 disposals up until that point.

Debutante Jordan Haynes received his Box Hill guernsey pre-match as the 23rdman, which provided a richly deserving reward for the popular club man after working his way back from a serious ankle injury last season.

Box Hill will look to continue its unbeaten campaign when they take on Port Melbourne at their home ground – Adcon Stadium – at 2pm next Saturday.

 

BOX HILL HAWKS                      3.2       5.4       11.4     16.4 (100)

SANDRINGHAM ZEBRAS            3.5       4.7       5.9       8.11 (59)

 

GOALS

Box Hill: Boucher 4, Ross 3, O’Brien 2,  Lewis, Hanrahan, Jones, D Moore, A Moore, Mullenger-McHugh, Walker

Sandringham: O’Toole 2, Answerth, Armitage, Fox, Hind, Owens, Young

LEADING DISPOSALS

Box Hill: Meadows 30, A Moore 28, L Walker 24, Kilpatrick 23

Sandringham: Hind 39, Dunstan 37, Phillips 30, Answerth 27

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