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VFL match report: R3

VFL: 'A good lesson' Senior Coach Max Bailey addresses Box Hills loss over the Easter weekend.

An inspired Port Melbourne has notched its first win of the season, jumping out of the blocks to record a stirring 24-point victory over Box Hill.

Struck with adversity before the ball had been bounced, the Borough was dealt the news that coach Gary Ayres would not be taking the reins, with the renowned coach unwell in hospital.

Nevertheless the home side responded to boot the opening four majors of the match within the first 10 minutes and never looked like surrendering the lead for the remainder of the day.

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Perfection conditions at the newly re-surfaced Adcon Stadium could not bring any joy to the Hawks who, despite recording 25 shots on goal, did not make the most of their opportunities to get back into the contest.

Port Melbourne wasted no time in kicking off proceedings, as Dylan Johnstone executed a set shot within the opening minute of the match. From there Port Melbourne continued in blistering fashion as Krakauer, Lisle and Conway all recorded consecutive majors to register the club’s fastest start for the season.

It immediately put Box Hill on the back foot, and regulatory misses in front of goal by Ross, D Moore, Schoenmakers and Kilpatrick failed to kick-start the Hawks. A running goal from Hanrahan at the 20-minute mark provided a much-needed major, but that was all the visitors could muster by the first break.

The momentum began to shift in the second term as Box Hill livewires D Moore and Ross slotted the opening majors. The margin cut to a game low of seven points, and the Adcon Stadium crowd could sense the reigning premiers were starting to make their move.

However, it was a story of missed opportunities for Box Hill, who again squandered six shots on goal for the quarter. None more disheartening than skipper Andrew Moore’s attempt directly in front to reduce the margin to 10 points by half time.

The Borough had a knack of making the Hawks pay for their mistakes. There was no more symptomatic example than late in the third term when the visitors gained momentum and several chances to assert their ascendency on the scoreboard. But it was to no avail, with Box Hill instead turning the ball over straight into the hands of Port Melbourne’s Dylan Conway. Conway made no mistake of slotting the superb running goal and stretching the lead to 36 points at the final break.

It proved the final blow to the Hawks, whose 8 goals and 17 behinds highlighted a wasteful day in front of goals. It was an uncharacteristic output from the usual lethal sharpshooters, who have averaged 102 points a game for the season.

It was an all-round performance from the Borough, who emphatically controlled the contest and carved the visitors up through efficient corridor transitions into attack.

Port Melbourne forward Dylan Conway starred with three majors, while veteran Ben Jolly racked up 25 disposals in the midfield. Young Borough half-back Harvey Hooper impressed with 22 possessions and eight marks.

Damian Mascitti proved to be Box Hill’s best and had no doubt set himself for his first meeting against his old club, providing composure and effectiveness by foot in defence with 20 disposals. Star midfielder Luke Meadows toiled willingly for his 18 disposals.

The in-form Jackson Ross started the match in lively fashion, however sustained a hamstring injury in the third term and took no further part in the match.

Box Hill Coach Max Bailey identified the areas of improvement for his side after the match.

“They were very good around the ball,” Bailey said.

“We got a bit nervous today and with some of our contests we coughed it up, which they got a lot of value of with scores.”

“It’s a good lesson for us and we need to be stronger in that area.”

The day ultimately belonged to a spirited Port Melbourne side which had a point to prove in dismantling the Hawks.

 

BOX HILL HAWKS       1.5     3.11  5.14   8.17   (65)

PORT MELBOURNE     5.2   6.8   11.12   12.17   (89)

GOALS

Box Hill Hawks: Miles 2, Boucher 1, Hanrahan, D Moore, Ross, Ceglar, Mullenger-McHugh

Port Melbourne: Conway 3, O’Sullivan 3, Haretuku 2, Johnstone 2, Lisle 1, Krakauer

DISPOSALS

Box Hill Hawks: Mascitti 20, Walker 20, Meadows 18, Hanrahan 17, Glass 16, Kilpatrick 16

Port Melbourne: Jolley 25, O’Sullivan 25, Hooper 23, Searle 22, Blair 21, Templeton 21

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