The Brisbane Lions have suffered their first defeat in the VFL this season going down to the Box Hill Hawks by 19 points.
The Lions travelled to Box Hill Oval in Melbourne to face the Hawks for the first time since joining the VFL in 2021.
After a hotly contested opening five minutes, the Lions jumped out to an early two goal lead courtesy of Henry Smith and Kalin Lane.
Box Hill kicked the next three goals for the term, to lead by seven points at quarter time.
FT | Not our day today in Box Hill pic.twitter.com/pdAxfExqGv— Brisbane Lions VFL (@lions_vfl) June 10, 2023
James Tunstill had a strong start to the game and would go one to collect 25 touches, six clearances and four tackles for the match.
The second quarter began in similar fashion to the first as five minor scores were registered before a goal was kicked.
Darryl McDowell-White booted the Lions only major for the terms as Box Hill took a 24-point lead into the main break.
Jarryd Lyons was a standout for the Lions all afternoon, kicking a goal, collecting 31 possessions and seven clearances.
Speaking post-match, Lions captain for the game Wylie Buzza, remained positive about the sides loss and acknowledged that Box Hill are a quality team.
“They’ve been playing some really good football this year and they showed it today,” he said.
“We didn’t have our best game for the year but it allows us to go away and work on a few things going forward.
“They will be a team that is up there at the pointy end of the season and we believe that we’ll be there too.
“We’ll take the learnings out of this game and look forward to our next opportunity against the Swans.”
The Lions came out firing after half-time as Kai Lohmann and Nakia Cockatoo reduced the margin to 10 points.
The Hawks kicked the next three goals to push its lead back out to 28 points before a late onslaught from the Lions kept the deficit to eight points at the final change.
Goals to Wylie Buzza, Jaspa Fletcher and Smith’s second saw the Lions head into the fourth quarter full of momentum.
A strong outing from Lohmann helped the Lions back into the contest with two goals, 20 disposals and five tackles.
Noah Answerth also made a strong return from concussion with 24 touches and eight marks to keep the Lions in the hunt.
Box Hill swung the momentum back in their favour early in the last term kicking the first four goals to put the game beyond the Lions reach.
Lohmann’s second along with late goals to Lyons, Harry Sharp and Fletcher saw the Lions come within 13 points with five minutes remaining.
Box Hill were able to close out the game with one last major to hand the Lions their first defeat of their 2023 VFL season.
Darcy Fort enjoyed a strong outing with 30 hitouts and 11 clearances to give the Lions ruck dominance.
Darragh Joyce had a solid day in defence with 17 touches and nine marks.
The Lions will head home for Round 13 of the VFL taking on the Sydney Swans this Saturday at Brighton Homes Arena.
Brisbane 90 def by Box Hill 109
Goals: Smith 2, Lohmann 2, Fletcher 2, Lyons, Buzza, Sharp, Lane, McDowell-White
Best: Tunstill, Lyons, Coleman, Joyce, Answerth