Hawks finish fast to account for Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks finish fast to account for Demons

By Guy Hand 25/02/2007 10:33:17 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin's growing reputation as an AFL match-winner got another boost after his five-goal haul put his side into the NAB Cup quarter-finals.

The Hawks overran Melbourne in their first round match at Telstra Dome for a 24-point win, with Franklin breaking the game open with a three-goal burst early in the fourth quarter.

With his side trailing by 12 points at three-quarter time, the exciting Franklin rode silver service from his midfield led by Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis to secure the 3.11.17 (110) to 2.9.14 (86) win.

Melbourne had led by as much as 24 points midway through the third quarter, seemingly on their way to the quarter-finals and the Hawks looking down and out.

Enter Franklin, threading three silky left-foot goals - the last putting his side six points up with momentum building.

The young Hawks steamrolled the Demons late, limiting them to a solitary fourth-quarter goal.

Predictably, Franklin iced the win with another left-foot goal on the run late in the term to put his side into a quarter-final against Carlton in Launceston next Saturday night.

Much as Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson tried to keep a lid on the Franklin boom after the match, it's unlikely to quell the lanky forward's growing cult status among Hawks fans.

"Everyone else will get excited about it and he's a very talented player," Clarkson said.

"But you can't just look at the end result - every one of those goals he kicked was a result of superb work in the midfield.

"He acknowledges that and knows he got on the end of some good work from the midfield. His job when that happens is to execute his skills."

In a see-sawing match, Hawthorn had taken a five-point lead to quarter-time, but the Demons stormed back with six unanswered goals through the second and third quarters to grab the lead.

Then Hawthorn, with fresher legs and riding the influence of Hodge and Lewis around the stoppages, eventually overpowered the Demons and ran away with the game.

Melbourne coach Neale Daniher felt no need to panic, believing his understrength Demons matched the Hawks for much of the match but simply were overrun by a fresher side.

"We've come into the game simply lacking the rotations ... and we simply ran out of legs," Daniher said.

"In the second half their midfield depth probably got the better of us."

In a match which trialled using nine umpires - four field, three boundary and two goal - all of whom could award free-kicks, boundary umpire Glen Sinclair ensured himself status as a sports trivia question.

Sinclair became the first boundary umpire to award a free-kick - in the third quarter to Hawthorn for a throw.

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