Hawks dominate 2018 VFL Grand Final Day
Tuesday, September 25 2018 @ 10:29 pm ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
It was a great day for the Hawks be it under the Box Hill or Hawthorn banner, one of the best AFL/VFL alignments shone through. The Box Hill Hawks winning the men’s final by 10 points over the Casey Demons and the women’s in their first season under the Hawthorn title (Box Hill formerly) winning by 13 points over Geelong.
VFL Women's Grand Final
A tight first quarter of the VFL Women’s Grand Final with the Hawks first on the board through Tamara Luke. Maddie Boyd evened things up for the Cats later in the quarter with a low flat drop punt through the middle. Then Hawks had the better of the contest in the quarter but could not convert their forward 50 opportunities with Pearce marking Sarah Perkins closely. A two point lead to the Hawks at the first break.
The second quarter was even more of an arm wrestle than the first. The Hawks had the ball at their end more often but couldn’t capitilise, McWilliams, Flanagan and Hutchins could only manage minor scores. It was the Hawk’s Emma Mackie who kicked the only goal for the quarter when she took and uncontested Mark, played on and slotted the goal to make it 11 points at the main break.
Geelong pushed hard to get back in the game in the third quarter, but poor kicking saw Burchall, Fogas, Orr and Clifford all register behinds. Hawthorn were finally able to get the ball clear to Sarah Perkins and she made no mistake in front of goal taking the Hawks to a 13 point lead.
Geelong were not out of the match by any stretch, and when Darby kicked the first goal of the quarter to bring the margin back to 7 points it looked like they could run over the Hawks. But with the 7 point buffer, then Hawks were able to play defensively and lock the ball up where they could. When they found Gilder to kick the final goal of the match they had done enough and take home their first VFL Women’s Premiership cup.
Perera was voted best on ground for the match and McWilliams, Hutchins and Beeson weren’t far behind for the Hawks. Burchell, Morrison, McMahon and Keryk were best for the Cats.
Hawthorn 1.3 2.6 3.6 4.6 (30)
Geelong Cats 1.1 1.1 1.5 2.7 (19)
Goal Kickers: S. Perkins, T. Luke, E. Mackie, E. Gilder
Best Players: C. Perera, P. McWilliams, M. Hutchins, R. Beeson, T. Luke, J. Van Dyk
Goal Kickers: M. Boyd, K. Darby
Best Players: H. Burchell, N. Morrison, M. McMahon, M. Keryk, C. Blakeway, O. Purcell
VFL Grand Final
The Casey Demons were on fire in the first quarter of today’s VFL Grand Final under the closed roof at Etihad Stadium. Much of the first quarter was played in the Demon’s half. The Demon’s were first on the board when Kiwi Mykelti Lefau lost Irish opponent Conor Glass and ran back to mark a high ball deep in the pocket. Without a hint of nerves he slotted the goal from the tight angle. Casey kicked the next three goals through Timothy Smith and Kennedy-Harris from set shots, and Machaya who read the ball well and roved the pack and kicked the goal. Jackson Ross finally kicked Box Hill’s first goal after Jiath ran the ball off the wing, dished to Willsmore who hit Ross on the lead. Kennedy-Harris lead the disposals for the quarter for the Demons and Lefau proved a more than capable back up ruck for Cam Pederson. At quarter time it was a 21 point lead to Casey.
Box Hill did not look confident going forward. But Casey weren’t making the most of their opportunities either. Dylan Moore had a terrible set shot miss and Maloney kicked across the face before Moore made amends goalling from over the shoulder high free kick from 45m out. Casey looked to have the answer though and hit back quickly when Bugg roved cleverly and snapped on the left to goal.
Casey had their own run of missed shots before Moore had a kick after the half time siren from a free kick deep in the pocket. He went back and kicked a team lifting goal to leave the Hawks 17 points down.
Casey got the second half off to a great start with a goal to Jay Lockhart. Box Hill then began to dominate play and gradually will themselves back into the game. Mitchell Lewis got things going for them with a nice goal. They kept pressing and kicked three behinds before eventually breaking through again when Willsmore and then Hanrahan both kicke majors for the Hawks. Casey stemmed the tide when Angus Scott pulled back a goal, but Tim O’Brien kicked another for the Hawks late to leave the Hawks trailing by 9 points at the final break.
After Tim O’Brien kicked a minor score early it was Box Hill captain Andrew Moore who brought the margin back to just two points in Casey’s favour as the Hawks lifted once again. Kieran Lovell gave the Hawks a 2 point lead when he roved the pack at the top of the 50 and kicked a long goal on the run.
Timothy Smith flew high for one of Casey’s highlights of the last quarter and pulled down a classic mark over the pack. Just as Casey looked like they would will themselves to regain the lead, Brolic pulled off a key spoil in centre of ground as Casey players were streaming forward. Then Stockdale took Dylan Moore over the shoulder off the contest in the the goal square. The umpire was in a good position to see it and pay the free kick. Moore’s goal sealed the match for the Hawks who looked home.
Tomas Bugg had a late chance to put Casey in striking distance of the lead but hit the post, but it was all too late and when the siren blew it was the Hawks home by 10 points.
CASEY DEMONS 4.4 5.9 8.11 8.14 (62)
BOX HILL HAWKS 1.1 3.4 7.8 10.12 (72)
Goal Kickers: J. Kennedy-Harris, C. MacHaya, A. Scott, J. Lockhart, T. Bugg, M. Lefau, C. Pedersen, T. Smith
Best Players: B. Fritsch, C. Wagner, H. Petty, D. Keilty, B. Vince, T. Bugg
BOX HILL HAWKS
Goal Kickers: D. Moore 3, K. Lovell, T. O''Brien, O. Hanrahan, A. Moore, J. O''Rourke, J. Ross, C. Jones
Best Players: D. Mirra, D. Moore, M. Pittonet, O. Hanrahan, J. Cousins, T. O''Brien
Conor Nash was a late withdrawal from the named team, he was not injured and reportedly want to give the regular Box Hill players the opportunity. Conor Glass did not have a great game off half back. He did link up well and have some good runs but his longer kicking did let him down a little. Glass did spend quite a bit of time rotating off the bench which perhaps broke up the continuity in his game. We look forward to his continuing development and hopefully more AFL football in 2019. Glass does become the first Irish player to become a VFL Premiership player.
Mykelti Lefau impressed with his leap and his speed, he also spent time changing off the bench. The opening goal of the match was impressive and he did well against a much bigger ruckman in Pittonet when he played backup ruckman. If he plays for NZ at IC20 he could supercharge that already talented team.