Boxwood Hill revel in flag glory
Boxwood Hill’s sublime third quarter has helped secure back-to-back league premierships in the Ongerup Football Association, thrashing Lake Grace-Pingrup in front of a large crowd at Jerramungup on Saturday afternoon.
After a very evenly matched and physical first half, Boxwood made the third quarter their own as they piled on eight goals going against a slight wind, which was the catalyst for their 72-point flag triumph.
Star midfielder Isaac Baum was adjudged best-afield by the umpires, as Boxwood kicked 14 goals to three in the battle of the Bombers and cruise to a 19.15 (129) to 8.9 (57) victory at the final siren.
Boxwood became the first team to win successive grand finals since Jerramungup achieved the same feat in 2013-14.
Lake Grace-Pingrup started powerfully, led by gun midfielder Luke Bairstow and Ganzer medallist Regan Smith, kicking the first three goals of the game as they led by 22 points at quarter-time, which could have been more if not for a Jack Carruthers miss after the siren.
Boxwood hit back in the second term when they kicked with the breeze to slot three majors but goals to Carruthers and Leighton Smith had the score all tied up at half-time.
After the break, Boxwood found another gear, hitting the front for the first time when forward George Bungey slotted his second. Their eight goals for the term were only interrupted by a major from Bairstow.
Boxwood booted six unanswered goals in the third to open up a 41-point advantage and they ended any remote hope of a Lake Grace-Pingrup fightback with the first three majors of the last.
Baum kicked two goals and his disposal by foot was damaging to claim best-on-ground honours while young forward pair Hayden Richter and Jack Davis were dynamic in attack.
Richter finished with four goals and Davis returned 3.4, and both were joined in Boxwood’s best players by experience duo Matt Campbell and Aaron Davis while Nic Bertola’s influence on the game grew by every minute.
Boxwood’s Tom Bertola cleaned up Alex Duckworth, who was playing his 200th game for Lake Grace-Pingrup, with a big hit on the wing to end his afternoon early.
Campbell laid a couple of bruising hits on Lake Grace-Pingrup pair Bairstow and Regan Smith after half-time in key moments of the game.
Defender Mitch Smith was terrific for Lake Grace-Pingrup all afternoon, Leighton Smith gave lots of drive and at half-time, Bairstow and Regan Smith were the two most damaging players on the ground.
Bairstow worked himself into the ground, a brilliant effort in a losing side while Reuben Smith battled manfully in the ruck but their side was left to rue the lack of a key forward, finishing without a multiple goal kicker.
Boxwood coach Alan Smallwood called time on his coaching career after the game, winning seven premierships from 11 grand finals in 15 years as a coach of various teams.
In the minor grades, Gnowangerup won the reserves by 26 points and also won the juniors by 38 points.
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