The Box Hill Hawks have secured a fourth win of the 2021 season and with it a foothold in the competition’s top eight, defeating Carlton at Ikon Park on Sunday afternoon by 84 points.

The boys in brown and gold were too strong for their hosts, playing arguably their best football for the season to win each quarter en route to a vital four points.

In near-perfect conditions for football both sides named similarly experienced outfits, with Box Hill boasting eleven AFL-listed players to Carlton’s ten.

Pleasingly for Sam Mitchell it was an afternoon in which his charges did their jobs to a man; or a case of twenty-two contributors for 120 minutes.

The silky Brayden Kilpatrick accumulated a game-high 33 disposals, with five clearances and six inside 50s, roaming between the arcs as a conduit between defence and attack.

Jon Ceglar was the dominant big man on the ground. Driving his team forward at every opportunity, he imposed himself on the contest with 24 touches, 33 hitouts and an equal game-high nine clearances. If he wasn’t giving his midfielders first use he was taking it himself.

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The impressive Jai Newcombe continued his brilliant early season form, winning nine clearances and providing six inside 50s of his own among his 25 disposals.

Messrs. Mynott and Phillips finished with 23 and 21 touches respectively, using their run to spread the ground and control the contest on the inside and outside. Further, both drove their team inside 50 eight times.

The captain, Damian Mascitti, was as solid as always, knocking up 23 touches and covering the ground beautifully to finish with four inside 50s, five rebound 50s and a classy running goal.  

Vincent Adduci was the most damaging player with ball in hand and finished with five majors to show for his superb work rate, clean hands on the deck and instinctive manner around goal.

First year Hawks Emerson Jeka and Jack Saunders also turned heads, with the former’s 13 marks and the latter’s tackling pressure a highlight. Additionally, they would contribute two goals apiece.

Speaking to the numbers that underpinned the effort and application of the group on the day, the Hawks finished +38 in contested ball, +23 in clearance, +26 in inside 50s and +44 in hit outs.

Two points separated the sides mid-way through the first term, with the hosts having made the most of their early chances.
It was an arm wrestle until a lovely running goal to the busy Saunders got Mitchell’s men motoring. Not only did it give his side back the lead, it lit the fuse on a scintillating period of attacking footy that delivered the final four goals of the first to open up a 22-point quarter time lead.

The good got better in the second stanza, with the Hawks laying on seven unanswered goals for the quarter to end the game as a contest. Pleasingly, they came in a variety of ways and from a variety of players.

In all, ten players kicked goals to half time, impressing the breadth of contributors.

11 on the trot became 14 deep into time on in the third quarter, the pick of the bunch a superb rove and snap in traffic by Adduci, before Carlton kicked their first goals in more than a half, finally cracking the Hawks’ resolute and near flawless rear-guard.

The unsung heroes of the back half were led by Hugh Beasley, who seemed the perfect match-up  for the dangerous Ben Crocker in prospect and practice, while support came in the form of Michael Hartley, Tim O’Brien and Mason De Wit.

Box Hill continued to control much of the play in the final quarter, though by this point the scoring had slowed. Adduci added goals four and five for the afternoon, while Tyler Brockman put through his second.

Come the final siren the Hawks had cause for satisfaction and celebration, recording a second percentage-boosting win on the spin.

Box Hill

6.6

13.6

16.13

19.16 130

Carlton

3.2

3.4

5.6

6.10 46

Best: Adduci, Jeka, Ceglar, Kilpatrick, Newcombe, Saunders

Goals: Adduci 5, Saunders, Jeka, Greene, Brockman 2, Mascitti, Pepper, Brooksby, Morris, Phillips, Nash

Disposals: Kilpatrick 33, Newcombe 25, Ceglar 24, Mascitti 23, Adduci 23, Mynott 23, E. Phillips 21, Brooksby 20