By Paul Sebastiani (@paolo016)
The Northern Blues have suffered a second consecutive defeat at the hands of Box Hill Hawks.
In a milestone match that marked the 100th appearance from captain Tom Wilson, the young Blues outfit were unable to give their spiritual leader a victory, going down 14.12.96 to 8.10.58.
The game also brought about the returns from injury for Carlton youngsters David Cuningham and Tom Williamson, who both impressed for Northern.
VFL-listed forward Jesse Palmer got the day kick-started with a straight set shot, firing the Blues into an early lead.
However, the Hawks gained complete control of the quarter to bury four unanswered goals, leaving the Blues trailing by 21 points at quarter time.
Jack Silvagni bobbed up early in the second quarter, going back with the flight and slotting a goal to spark life into the Blues.
Despite Silvagni’s efforts, an uncontested possession count heavily in favour of the home side became a telling factor in the match.
The Blues conceded three goals in a row on the back to finish the first half, trailing by 37 points at the main change.
Having to bridge what was ultimately a game-winning margin. the Blues repeated the dose of the previous quarter, nailing an early goal this time through ruckman Andrew Phillips.
The Hawks continued to answer any challenge thrown at them, and their response to the Phillips goal was swift. Once again, the final three goals of the quarter extended the Hawks’ lead.
For the second consecutive week, the Blues held firm and fought out the contest despite the discrepancy on the scoreboard.
They were able to outscore their opponents in the last quarter, kicking five goals as they eventually fell short by 38 points.
In his milestone game, Wilson gathered a team-high 31 possessions in midfield, along with eight clearances and six tackles.
Playing his first game for 2018, Williamson showed no sign of rust, amassing 15 disposals on restricted game-time.
The Blues will return to Ikon Park next Saturday against Essendon to mark their first VFL game at the venue for 2018.
BOX HILL HAWKS 5.1 8.5 11.10 14.12 (96)
NORTHERN BLUES 1.2 2.4 3.6 8.10 (58)
Northern Blues: Cuningham, Federico, Fisher, Lobbe, McCabe, Palmer, Phillips, Silvagni
Northern Blues: Phillips, Cuningham, Wilson, Polson, Weitering, Silvagni