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Best: Hill, Cooper, Gregory, Hartley, Fox, Williams
Goals: Hill 4, Venditti, Uysal, Featherstone, Morton
Four goals from in-form forward Dion Hill wasn’t enough for Coburg, who were overrun in the second term and eventually went down by 100 points to VFL powerhouse Box Hill at Piranha Park on Sunday afternoon.
Hill – fresh from four goals in the development side last week – continued his strong form to collect another bag at senior level, kicking half of Coburg’s goals. Ozgur Uysal was a standout in midfield for the Burgers. He finished with a team-high 30 disposals and a goal. Lachie Johns (26 possessions) also impressed in his VFL debut while Tom Goodwin worked hard in the ruck but also had eight clearances himself. 15 of Goodwin’s 17 possessions were contested.
It was a less than ideal start for the Lions, who leaked two quick goals to give the visitors an early edge. Danny Younan tried to inspire his teammates with a terrific one-percenter to keep the ball alive and set up a chance for Ben Clifton. Josh Cauchi couldn’t cap off an impressive full ground transition but Lech Featherstone got the Burgers on the board after winning a free kick. Dion Hill read the ball best, roved the pack well and popped through another.
Box Hill rarely wasted an opportunity to score - adding four more goals – while the Lions continued to be wasteful up forward. The Hawks, at both development and senior level, were brutal with their conversion. If even a half-chance popped up, it was taken – which only made Coburg’s job tougher.
The Lions turned things around almost immediately in the second term, booting three quick goals through Ozgur Uysal, Daniel Venditti and Hill and looked a revitalised and motivated team. After a tight five minutes, Box Hill fought hard to halt the Burgers run – which simultaneously started a run for the visitors. The Hawks piled on seven unanswered goals before Hill kicked his third after the half-time siren.
The Lions improved defensively after the break to restrict the Hawks from scoring as freely but – more importantly – Coburg were again wasteful when trying to reduce the margin. They managed just six behinds.
Cale Morton booted a consolation goal for Coburg but Box Hill ran away with the game late, turning a strong lead into a dominant winning margin.
The Lions now face reigning VFL premiers Footscray at Piranha Park next Saturday afternoon.
Photos courtesy of Jenny Owens.