BY KELLY MASTERS
The Box Hill Hawks have retained the ANZAC cup with a 51-point win over Coburg at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The day commenced with an ANZAC ceremony which paid tribute to those who have served our country.
Kicking towards the Whitehorse Road End in the first term, Coburg worked the ball well out of the backline to get it to Sam Lowson who kicked the first score of the day, a behind.
Harry Nolan was exceptional in the backline during the opening minutes of the match, laying flawless tackles alongside Jess Corigliano taking strong marks, but Coburg was unable to stop Box Hills Harry Morrison kicking the first goal of the day.
It was evident that the Hawks were confident switching play across the ground to find their free men. Box Hill was more dominant hitting targets and taking contested marks, leading 13 marks to 2 halfway through the first quarter.
There was no shortage of effort by the Lions during the term; they just weren’t able to move the ball as cleanly into the forward line or take the crucial marks.
William Golds kicked Box Hills fourth of the quarter right before the siren sounded for the first term, taking the margin to 24 points.
The second term was by far one of Coburg’s best quarters of footy this season. The Lions made the most of their nine inside 50 entries as Stroobants kicked the first by the five-minute mark, then Sam Lowson chimed in with three in a short space of time, and Lockie Dickson added two more.
The back six worked overtime to keep Box Hill to one goal in the quarter even though they had 18 inside 50 entries. The Coburg midfield was able to open up the game allowing more direct play into their forward half.
The Lions went into the main break with a five-point lead 40-35.
In the third quarter, Box Hill hit back hard with more intensity at the ball, which was reflected on the scoreboard, kicking five majors and keeping Coburg goalless.
Coburg was unable to find loose men in the forward line and was forced to kick to contests where the opposition was able to rebound regularly.
Nolan again was crucial to defence taking several contested marks, while Ryan Exon timed a perfect smother on Box Hill’s Conor Glass taking a shot at goal.
In the final term, Coburg was quite often caught behind the ball and couldn’t maintain the pressure, enabling Box Hill to increase the margin to a 51-point win over the Lions.
Speaking post-match, Midfield Coach Chad Owens reflected on where the Lions fell short.
“I think some of our movement was a bit too slow and as a result, they (Box Hill) were able to get up back behind the ball and set up well.”
“When we were able to get the ball in their reasonably quick and get the one-on-ones we were after then we looked a lot more productive.”
Owens said after half time the Lions stopped playing to their strengths which will be a focus during the week.
“When we steer away from that (Structure), and blokes start going into a bit of self-preservation if they haven’t had a kick for a while and go chasing it doesn’t help the overall structure of the team.
“It just becomes a snowball effect, the next guys out of position and the next guys out of position and so if wecan stick to what we know and just keep working on that process I think we’ll see a much better result.”
Box Hill Ruckman, Marc Pittonet, was announced the ANZAC medallist after his performance included 30 disposals and 42 hit outs.
We will be back on home turf to take on Port Melbourne next Sunday at Piranha Park. We encourage all Coburg Football Club members and supporters to come and help our lions get the win.
BOX HILL HAWKS
Best Players: M. Pittonet, H. Morrison, C. Glass, D. Moore, A. Moore, D. Mascitti
Best Players: H. Nolan, T. Lever, S. Lowson, L. Dickson, J. Corigliano, R. Exon