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Hawks resist Gold Coast’s quick finish in McEvoy’s 250th


Hawthorn continued their late-season form with a dominating victory over the Gold Coast Suns, who finished early, by seven points at the University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston.

Jack Gunston was vital with five goals.

There were no late changes for either team. James Blanck was the medical backup for Hawthorn and Rory Atkins of Gold Coast.

Going into the game, the Suns had lost their previous five games at the site by an average margin of 51 points and were determined to break that pattern to keep their slim chances in the Finals.

But the boys in brown and gold had different plans.

The Hawks hit some big milestones – captain “Big Boy” Ben McEvoy was playing his 250th game and pocket rocket youngster Dylan Moore was playing his 50th game for the Hawks. And the Hawks were determined to win for their comrades.

While the Suns opened the scoring with a few setbacks including one to Noah Anderson, it was Hawthorn forward Jack Gunston who scored the first goal of the game.

The skilful striker added his second soon after.

Midfielder Jeremy Sharp scored the Suns’ first goal with a long-range snap.

McEvoy was instrumental, finishing the quarter with four scoring appearances and earning five hits to his advantage.

It was a heartwarming moment when the ruckman netted a superb goal to extend Hawthorn’s lead and was overrun by his teammates.

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Elijah Hollands salvaged a goal for the Suns to reduce the deficit.

At the quarter, the Hawks had an eight-point lead, leading the Gold Coast Suns 23-15.

Jacob Koschitzke scored the first goal of the second quarter to extend the Hawks’ lead to 14 points before the Suns were put on the board.

Gold Coast tied that through Ben Ainsworth at the other end, but Hawthorn maintained their lead as Gunston scored his third goal of the game.

When Luke Breust pitched his first of the day and the Hawks’ seventh, Hawthorn had extended his lead to 27 points. They were leading 7.7 (49) to 3.4. (22).

A 50m referee dissent penalty against Hawthorn gave Nick Holman a shot on goal from the goal square. Holman did not miss.

Then Hawks forward Jack Gunston pitched his fourth for the day followed by a response from Levi Casboult.

The Hawks had extended their lead to 21 points at the main break. They led 8.8 (56) to 5.5 (35).

The Suns scored the first goal after halftime through Jarrod Witts.

Not to be outdone, Hawthorn midfielder Jaegar O’Meara scored the other end and then really kicked it.

Halfway through the third quarter, the Hawks still had a 20-point lead, leading 63-43.

When gunston, a sniper, scored in the box and converted to score his fifth goal, Sam Mitchell’s men had a 26-point lead.

Elijah Hollands delivered his second kick followed by behinds to Izak Rankine, Mabior Chol and Ben Ainsworth.

Hawthorn’s Jarman Impey has been flagged for a bump on Darcy Macpherson.

Despite their best efforts on the field during this third quarter, the Suns were unable to make an impact on the scoreboard. Even though they won the third quarter, they only reduced the halftime margin by four points.

At the last change the Hawks led by 17 points. Hawthorn was 10.9 (69) to Gold Coast’s 7.10 (52).

Whatever Stuart Dew said to his men three-quarters of the time seemed to kick them into overdrive. They seemed to remember that they still had a place in the final.

Suns coach Stuart Dew talks to players

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

When Nick Holman kicked his second four minutes in the final quarter, the Suns were within two goals.

When Levi Casboult scored on the front pocket, he had a shot to bring the Suns to a right kick but his shot drifted sideways for a behind.

Then Mabior Chol scored and had the chance to put them within four points but his spot kick hit the post.

Another rushed behind shortly after cutting the deficit to eight points with 11 minutes left in the game.

Then what seemed to be a calamity of errors; the long kick went to Will Day who was on his own but he ran too far without bouncing so the Suns were awarded a free kick.

Despite their best efforts and winning the number of contested possessions in the last quarter, Gold Coast was unable to punish the Hawks on the scoreboard. They only scored one goal on nine shots.

With his head bandaged, McEvoy got up and took a heroic mark on 50 defensive yards for the Hawks in the final two minutes as the Suns pressed.

The beloved captain finished with 31 hits, one goal and had six tackles. And coach Sam Mitchell has praised the 33-year-old.

“I was thrilled that ‘Big Boy’ could take that take at the end and just have a few big moments and be so influential and for him to have his family there and be part of a win, he’s got it. mentioned to the boys after the game, it’s really special for him,” Mitchell said.

“He’s not a guy who’s ever shied away from entering the contest. He’s done this his whole career and today was no different.

Despite only having one kick behind in the final quarter, the Hawks held off the Gold Cost Suns, who finished early, to win by seven points.

Jaeger O’Meara had eight clearances, eight tackles and had one goal for his 20 eliminations in a brilliant display while Tom Mitchell had 25 possessions and four tackles.

Josh Ward was a shining light for the Hawks with 20 possessions and four tackles, as were Jai Newcombe and Jack Scrimshaw, while Finn Maginness led the way with 10 tackles, keeping Touk Miller out of the contest. He kept Miller to three uncontested possessions for the game.

For the Gold Cost Suns, it was David Swallow who led the way with 33 eliminations, seven tackles and five clearances while Brandon Ellis had 30 eliminations.

The young Hawks have now won four of their last five games. The gradual improvement over the season will delight Hawks fans for what the future holds and, as McEvoy mentioned during the week, the Finals is a real possibility next year.

The Suns, however, will lament this one as they had plenty of chances in the last quarter to seal the win and hold on to their Finals chances, but are now all but certain to miss September action again.

To make the Finals, the 11th-ranked Suns must win their remaining two games and hope all other results go their way, which seems highly unlikely at this point.



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