An impressive year for the club with both Senior Men and Women’s sides competing in the 2022 Finals Series.
By Ryan Long.
Boronia Senior Men’s
Ladder Position: 5th (8-8-2)
Best and Fairest: Harry Burgess
Leading Goalkicker: Ben Robertson (57)
A third-consecutive finals appearance for the Hawks in season 2022 after the side finished fifth on the Division Two ladder. Over the off-season, they brought a couple of key stars back to the club, Mitch Mellis and Josh Hannon. Throughout the year, they proved that their best was good enough to challenge in September, but they found it difficult to maintain that consistency every week.
They only just avoided disaster in the final match of the Home and Away season. With Templestowe defeating Heathmont and The Basin locking away their spot in the five, it all came down to Boronia needing to defeat ninth placed Knox to guarantee their spot. Midway through the third quarter, the Falcons had a four-goal lead, temporarily putting the Hawks outside of the top five. However, a late fightback saw Boronia take the two points for a draw and guarantee the club a finals position.
Boronia faced off against The Basin in the first week of Finals. The two clubs had a draw previously in the year at Batterham before the Bears caused a boilover at Tormore later in the season. After The Basin got an early jump in the first quarter of the Elimination Final, the rest of the game remained close all afternoon at Walker Park with the Hawks taking a one-point lead into the final change. While the Bears missed a couple of chances, Boronia made the most of theirs, kicking three goals to one to run out nine-point winners. Sean Bramstedt starred with four goals while the likes of Ryan White and the Hannon brothers played important roles in the big Finals win.
A week later, they met East Burwood in a Semi Final. Accuracy hurt the hawks, kicking just 11 goals from 30 scoring shots. Momentum shifted multiple times in the second half. Trailing by a point, an after the siren shot from Jarrod Lake outside the arc fell just short.
Overall, another positive year with the club’s seventh finals series in the last decade.
Winning the club’s best and fairest was the senior Captain, Harry Burgess with another strong year, leading from the front. Just behind him as Runner Up in the B&F was star midfielder Ryan White who notched up his 100th senior game in season 2022.
Key Backman Jarrod Lake was again in great form all season, earning himself a spot in the EFNL Division Two Team of the Year at Full Back.
Ben Robertson played a deeper role in the forward line which saw him kick 57 goals for the year, finishing second in the Division Two leading goalkickers.
Best Win: Round 13 – Boronia 14.10 94 def. East Burwood 10.8 68 @East Burwood Reserve
Backs against the wall, the Hawks’ Round 13 win over East Burwood was a memorable one with the side missing several key players, many of which were late changes including Damon Fairchild and Fletcher Duke.
It was a well-needed response after a disappointing loss at home to The Basin. In a highly contested match, a seven-goal to one second quarter in favour of the Hawks broke the game open. The margin was cut back to less than a couple of goals before Boronia raced away with it in the final quarter.
Jess Bolton wound back the clock, one of the best players on the ground while usual suspects, Ryan White, Luke and Josh Hannon, Harry Burgess and Taylor Leggate all starred in the gutsy win.
Recruiting has been a major focus early in the off-season.
Despite losing Taylor Leggate, the Hawks have acquired some impressive recruits such as Josh Begley, Jethro Von Hesse and Max Brasher. They’ve got plenty of midfield depth with enough scoring options up forward.
There will be no excuses next season for the Hawks, their best is certainly good enough with the current list. If they can find that consistency and stay injury free, then they should be there at the pointy end of the season as one of the premiership contenders.
Boronia Senior Women’s
Ladder Position: 4th (4-10, 41.60%)
Best and Fairest: Rachael Slater
Leading Goalkicker: Rachael Slater (17)
The Hawks made a lot of progress in season 2022, qualifying for the Premier B finals with a fourth-placed finish. Alongside the Bears, Pioneers and Eagles, the Hawks were promoted from Division One this year, making up the Premier B division where they would play crossover games against the Premier clubs.
The girls started the year with an impressive eight-point win over The Basin. They went on to defeat the Bears twice in the home and away season while also knocking off Ferntree Gully two times.
It set up a massive finals clash with The Basin in the Semi Final at Quambee Reserve. In tough conditions, Boronia kicked two second-quarter goals to give themselves a seven-point Half Time lead. With the Bears having all the momentum, the Hawks were under pressure to defend that lead. A late last-quarter goal to The Basin’s Julia Baker turned out to be the match-winner.
Rachael Slater was fantastic again this year, winning the club’s best and fairest. The Hawks star kicked 17 goals for the season, the most of any Boronia player by a fair margin. Steph Phillips finished in the club’s best a total of seven times and finished as runner-up in the Boronia best and fairest with another standout season.
Featuring in the EFNL Team of the Year for Premier and Premier B divisions was Ali Gottliebsen, listed at Centre Half Back, providing plenty of run and attack off the half back.
Best Win: Round One – Boronia 9.7 61 def. The Basin 8.5 53 @Batterham Reserve
The best possible way to start the season in Premier B, knocking off a highly fancied Bears side by eight points, away from home. Boronia controlled most of the first half, 22 points up at the main break. They were challenged in the third quarter with the Bears kicking three goals to one to make it a seven-point game. The Hawks responded to the challenge and held on in a tight last quarter to secure the four points.
Rachael Slater, Rebecca Mcmahon and Amanda Davidson all finished with two goals each.
It would also be the team’s highest score for the season, making it a memorable victory for the club.
Making the finals was a big tick for the club this season. This year, they had a great opportunity of playing against a couple of the strongest sides in the league such as the Eastern Devils. Boronia can use those matches as learning experiences going into the off-season. They’ve improved a bit more each year from their inception, if they can continue to improve and develop as a side, they can certainly go one further in season 2023 and win a final or two.
Boronia Women’s (Development Team)
Ladder Position: 6th (0-14, 1.49%)
Best and Fairest: Darcy Langford
Leading Goalkicker: Darcy Langford
Once again, the club were successful in having two full teams up and running in season 2022. The Boronia Women’s reserves side competed in Division Four, just one of six clubs to have two teams in the league.
Although they didn’t have much success on the field, it was a great opportunity for the girls to get out there each week, and enjoy the game while they learn and develop their skills.
The club’s best and fairest winner, Darcy Langford had a season to remember. Langford became the first woman from the club to play 50 games for the Hawks at the age of just 22. Gen Lyons was just behind her in the best and fairest count with an impressive season while Mikayla Collins finished in the best eight times from thirteen games.
The club has come a long way from its beginnings five years ago. They’re very fortunate to have two teams competing in the league which does allow for the opportunity for some of the reserves side’s most talented players getting to test themselves in the senior side as well.
The major focus for the club this off-season will be to maintain numbers and have two teams back out on the field once more in season 2023.
Boronia Gold (Section Four)
Ladder Position: 8th (3-12-2, 73.24%)
Playing in Section Four this season, the Boronia Gold side won three games and had two draws. Their wins came against Silvan, Mulgrave and finalist Heathmont. Leading the goal-scoring for the side was Zoe Mcquillen with 96 goals while Ali Gottliebsen went on to win the Boronia Gold Best and Fairest award.
Boronia Brown (Section Six)
Ladder Position: 3rd (11-3-2, 138.53%)
The Section Six Boronia side had a great year, qualifying for finals, and finishing in third place after an eleven win season. They faced off against fourth-placed Ringwood in the Semi Final. After leading at Half Time, the Redbacks fought back to take a lead that they were able to hold onto, winning by three points.
Although it wasn’t the finals series they were after, it was still a very positive year. Ebony Williams finished fifth in the section’s goal scorers with 187 goals while Alisha Clark won the Boronia Brown Best and Fairest.
Ladder Position: 5th (5-4, 181.25%)
Boronia once again fielded a vets side in the BJS Men’s Veterans competition this year. They won five games for the season, only just missing out on a spot in the finals, one game behind fourth-placed Croydon North MLOC. One of the highlights of the season came in the final round when they knocked off the eventual premiers, Coldstream, by 26 points.
Owen Millwood won the club’s best and fairest, a vote ahead of Runner Up’s Casey Bridges and Steven O’Reiily.
Boronia fielded seven teams in 2022, with the standout side being the Under 11 side. They had a stellar season finishing on top of the ladder at the end of the home and away season, winning their way through to the Grand Final. The Under 13, 14 and 17.5 sides also had great seasons making their respective final series.
Cayden Wood capped off a great individual season winning the EFNL league best and fairest player in the Under 14C grade.
The Boronia Under 14 Girls’ side also made the finals and the club will look to build on continuing to grow their girls’ program in 2023.