The Hawks took to the field for the club’s first intraclub of the summer on Wednesday, with the list divided into two teams of ‘Probables’ and ‘Possibles’.
As to be expected, the Probables ultimately prevailed, but the Possibles side was gallant all day, highlighting the depth of the list as the season approaches.
Young pair James Worpel and Dylan Moore were among the stand-outs for the winners, while Tim O’Brien was the key beneficiary of some improved, fast ball movement as he finished with a game-high six goals.
Jacob Koschitzke didn’t look out of place in the Probables side; he was busy in his new role of key forward, showing strong hands and providing plenty of assists for his teammates.
Meanwhile draftee Tyler Brockman was a standout for the Possibles – the 18-year-old’s pace and creativity with ball in hand was on show.
Experienced trio James Sicily, Jack Gunston and Tom Mitchell were all sidelined through injury, but each played an active role in the coaches’ box.
Below, we’ll take you quarter by quarter through the match simulation.
The Probables began with a triple-pronged tall attack, with Tim O’Brien, Mitch Lewis and Koschitzke all stationed inside 50 at the first bounce.
Shaun Burgoyne showed his class early, setting up a play through the corridor that saw O’Brien get on the end of his first for the day. Moore and Koschitzke provided pivotal links, with both youngsters looking on song from the get go.
After back-to-back goals for the Possibles, one off the boot of second-year Hawk Josh Morris, the recently re-signed Luke Breust steadied the Probables ship, nailing his set shot and setting up O’Brien for another.
Worpel didn’t miss a beat in the opening term, collecting plenty of the Sherrin, running at a high efficiency and providing strong inside 50 deliveries to his teammates.
Captain Ben McEvoy shouldered much of the ruckwork early, while Chad Wingard spent his time either through the midfield or resting deep forward.
Sam Frost was an anchor in defence, denying many of the Possibles’ forward forays.
Though the Probables dominated possession, it was the Possibles who held the scoreboard ascendancy at the first break, leading by four points.
Koschitzke and Moore’s efforts were rewarded in the second term, as the latter sent through a major to help his side hit the front.
Hanrahan capitalised on a 50m penalty to get one back for the Possibles, but it was the Probables who had seemingly found their groove; O’Brien booted his third, Mitch Lewis nailed his set shot from a tight angle and Moore added another with a terrific crumb and snap through traffic.
The highlight of the Possibles’ second term came through untried second-year Hawk Emerson Jeka; he demonstrated his knack for finding space by burning his opponent in the pocket, before sending a beautiful centring kick to Finn Maginness who converted.
It was a tight tussle early in the third, with both defensive units seemingly unpenetrable.
McEvoy was busy, taking multiple contested marks in important moments, as he so often does.
It took until the final two minutes of the term for a centre bounce re-set, after O’Brien made the most of a 50m penalty and booted his fourth from the goal square.
He provided the next highlight, with a fifth major just moments later – this time an impressive set shot from a tight angle.
The siren sounded, with the Probables holding a 40-point ascendancy heading into the final term.
The final term started with Harry Morrison sending an exquisite delivery inside 50 to the waiting Mitch Lewis.
While Lewis narrowly missed his set shot, he got another opportunity moments later and capitalised.
Perhaps the team play of the day came when Jarman Impey put on the jets to burst out of the backline, sent it to Worpel on the wing who spun out of trouble and played onto Tom Phillips. Phillips then gave hands to Jaeger O’Meara who powered to the arc and sent home a beautiful running goal.
Breust and Lewis each added another major to their names, before first-year Hawk Connor Downie delivered a fantastic goal on the run – due reward for effort after his impressive work at the stoppages.
Though the Possibles put in a gallant effort and matched their teammates for much of the first half, the Probables proved too strong – running away 65-point winners.
O’Brien (6), Lewis (3), Moore (2), Breust (2), Downie, Koschitzke, O’Meara
Morris, Hanrahan, Maginness, Jeka, unlisted (3)
Worpel, O’Brien, Moore, McEvoy, Frost, Shiels
Brockman, Grainger-Barras, Cousins, Hartley, Scrimshaw