Internationals in 2015 VFL Preliminary Finals
Tuesday, September 22 2015 @ 10:54 pm ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
VFL Preliminary Finals at the weekend drew very solid crowds to North Port Oval. On Saturday it was the Box Hill Hawks in front most of the day, Sandringham coming home with a wet sail to hit the front in the 11 minute mark of the last quarter. But the Hawks were composed and went on to win by 7 points to clinch a Grand Final berth for the third year in a row. Internationals featuring in this match were Jason Holmes (USA) for Sandringham and for Box Hill Hawks Kurt Heatherley (NZ) and Shem Tatupu (NZ).
Holmes gave the Zebras good service in the ruck. The highlight of the day for him was in the third quarter when he he ran onto the ground, picked up the ball, and hit up Minchington who kicked truly to put Sandringham within a kick of Box Hill. He finished with 24 hitouts, 1 kick, 1 mark and 2 tackles.
Kurt Heatherley had a good game in defence and finished with 6 kicks, 4 handballs, 4 marks and 5 tackles. He looked the experienced defender regularly cutting off Sandringham forays forward with marking and spoiling, rarely beaten. He was commended by coach Marco Bello for his game.
At the other end Tatupu provided a good forward contest but kicked just one behind for the match along with one kick, three handballs , one mark and one tackle. That performance won’t be enough to secure him a spot in the Grand Final but hopefully performances since joining the senior team this year will.
Box Hill Hawks 5.6 7.7 10.12 12.17 (89)
Sandringham 1.1 5.5 9.7 12.10 (82)
Box Hill Hawks: Sicily 3 Lock 2 Anderson 2 Lawlor Grimley Spangher Langford Willsmore
Sandringham: Brown 4 Saad 2 Minchington 2 Saunders Murdoch Ong Siposs
Box Hill Hawks: Spangher Evans Collins Sicily Simpkin Lock
Sandringham: Minchington Brown Cook Shenton Murdoch Saunders
Williamstown came out on top at North Port Oval on Sunday in their Preliminary Final against Essendon on Sunday. Leading by just five points at three quarter time the Seagulls held firm in the final quarter to finish 12 points in front at the siren.
Conor McKenna (Ire) the only international in the match looked good early for Essendon with a strong leaping pack mark from four deep. Some strong tackling quick movement up forward making him look dangerous. He finished with 7 kicks, 5 handballs, 1 mark and 1 handball. His one goal in the third quarter looked like it might be the spark to get the Bombers going but it was not their day.
Williamstown and Hawthorn now clash this Sunday at Etihad Stadium in the VFL Grand Final.
Williamstown 2.4 6.8 11.9 15.12 (102)
Essendon 3.4 5.9 11.14 12.18 (90)
Williamstown: L. Masters 3, S. Tighe 2, C. Lockwood 2, M. Banner 2, A. Anastasio, E. Carr, S. Dunell, A. Gallucci, M. Gibbons, S. Critchley
Essendon: J. Polkinghorne 3, K. Hardingham 3, D. Coghlan 2, N. O''Brien, S. Edwards, J. Thompson, C. McKenna
Williamstown: B. Jolley, C. Lockwood, S. Tighe, W. Wheeler, P. Faulks, N. Meese
Essendon: J. Ferry, N. O''Brien, J. Polkinghorne, M. Marigliani, K. Hardingham, S. Edwards