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AFL West Coast v Hawthorn, Round 23, Optus Stadium.
Conor Nash (file photo/AFANA)

The bottom of the ladder clash rounded out this footy weekend.  Both teams winless, with the Hawks in 17th and the Kangaroos in 18th position. Fans from both teams arrived today hoping to see their club's first win for the season. The Kangaroos were quick out of the blocks and a long kick to the goal square saw Eddie Ford rove at the back of the pack and snap it home from a tight angle to open the scoring. The Roos backed it up when again the long kick in traveled over the top of the pack and was scooped up by the quick running Jy Simpkin who ran into goal to score from point blank range.

Hawthorn finally found some composure and Macdonald's kick over the top to find Gunston deep in the pocket, making for an easy set shot around the body for the veteran. A minute later he marked at the top of the 50 meter line and dished off to Amon who was running past and easily cleared the goal line to put the Hawks in front for the first time today. The Hawks began to dominate around the ground, but their kicking was letting them down a bit. A nice hit up of Moore 30 meters out straight in front though, saw them kick their 3rd goal and take a seven point lead to the first break.

The Hawks had won the first quarter for the first time this year and they took that momentum into the second quarter. Mackenzie's set shot outside 50 grazed the post and it took the video review to clarify and deny the goal. Then Gunston's long shot from deep in the pocket drifted to the right of the goal post and the Hawks were starting to look wasteful. A high snap around the body under pressure by Ginnivan also had to be reviewed and was concluded to be a goal improving the Hawks accuracy a little.

McKenzie marked a scrambled kick at the top of the 50 meter arc and again dished off the handball to the runner, this time the runner was Weddle, and his long high checkside kick also had to be reviewed for a maximum return for the Hawks. Out of the middle, Newcombe hit Moore on the lead and his kick did not require review as it went between the big posts. If this reads like North Melbourne weren't having much input into the game so far in the second quarter, you'd be right. Morrison, Macdonald and Ginnivan lined up to kick consecutive goals for the Hawks.  

North finally kicked their first major of the quarter when Blake Drury got a quick handball receive 15 meters out from goal and dribbled the ball home. After offering little for much of this quarter North now went on a run, a missed shot by Curtis and then Zuurhar before they added a second goal when Curtis marked 40 meters out. Meek kicked a long goal from inside the centre square when his long kick cleared the leading pack and shepherded through after it bounced by Gunston.  The ball traveled over 70 meters. Moore kicked his second goal after he marked just 15 meters out from the goal line. Larkey, who might have been hoping for a big day out, made his first mark on the board with a late goal. He marked 20 meters out with seconds on the clock and despite this late goal, the Hawks still took a 37 point lead into the half time break.

North fought hard to hold the Hawks after the long break and it took until halfway through the third quarter before the first goal came, this time through Chol. He marked a long kick from Meek at center halfback and played on from outside 50 to clear the defender on the line. The teams would trade goals all quarter. Darcy Tucker returned fire for the Roos at the other end of a sharp pass from Fisher and kicking the set shot goal from 50 meters out.

The Hawks kept coming though, and this time they got the ball on the quick turnover down to Gunston who unselfishly gave the ball off to Dylan Moore for his fourth goal of the match. Larkey became North's first multiple goal scorer of the day when he ran inside 50 and his long shot at goal was successful. Chol was presenting regularly in the forward 50 and he was rewarded by a nice pass from Ginnivan. He made no mistake from 30 out straight in front. Then it was the Roos turn again when Curtis kicked his second for the day when he marked 25 meters out on a slight angle. Chol marked just before the siren but missed the shot after the siren to see his Hawks with a 38 point lead at three quarter time. 

Curtis got the Roos off to a good start in the final quarter when he kicked his third goal early in the term after Frost took him high 20 meters out from goal. The Hawks looked for an avenue to goal and eventually it came through Amon who kicked his second goal for the day roving the ball deep in the forward line. Maginness broke the chain of alternate team goals when he marked and goalled from 25 meters out. Some smart work from the Roos again caught the Hawks on the turnover. Larkey was able to get close to the square on the lead, mark and goal for his third. At the other end, in the final minute, Meek found himself marking in the open and calmly lobbing a drop punt successfully toward goal for his second major and the final score of the day. 

While the Hawks won big today and will no doubt celebrate appropriately, other than the second quarter the match was very even on the scoreboard. They may take some confidence from the win but have plenty of areas to work on before they become a serious threat to team higher up the ladder week to week. For North and Alastair Clarkson, it becomes another long hard season where nobody can see where their first win will come from. 

NORTH MELBOURNE: 2.2  5.5  8.6 10.8   (68)
HAWTHORN:        3.3 11.6 14.8 17.11 (113)

North Melbourne: Curtis 3, Larkey 3, Ford, Simpkin, Drury, Tucker
Hawthorn:        Moore 4, Ginnivan 2, Chol 2, Amon 2, Meek 2, Gunston, Weddle, Morrison, Macdonald, Maginness

North Melbourne: Sheezel, Xerri, Curtis, Davies-Uniacke
Hawthorn:        Newcombe, Nash, Macdonald, Morrison, Impey 

North Melbourne: Ford (hip)
Hawthorn:        Nil

North Melbourne: Charlie Lazzaro (replaced Eddie Ford in the third quarter)
Hawthorn:        Henry Hustwaite (replaced Massimo D'Ambrosio in the third quarter)

Crowd:30,648 at Marvel Stadium

Article last changed on Monday, April 22, 2024 - 2:12 PM EDT


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