Collingwood’s season came to a disappointing end, as it fell to Box Hill by 18 points at Box Hill City Oval.
The Magpies were on top for long periods of the opening three terms, with wayward goalkicking all that prevented their 19-point lead at the least change from being greater.
But with a finals place on the line, the Hawks clicked into gear in the last quarter, booting seven goals to one to earn victory.
Jaidyn Stephenson emerged unscathed from his return match, even after being at the centre of a melee in the third quarter which forced him from the field to replace his ripped jumper.
The livewire forward showed impressive signs playing on a wing and from the goal square, collecting 20 disposals and adding a goal.
Brayden Sier started on fire in his return, picking up six touches in the opening eight minutes, before his day was cut short by a concussion.
Daniel Wells had 18 disposals in his first game back from a knee injury.
Alex Woodward left the ground in the hands of trainers in time-on of the last quarter with an apparent knee injury.
Scans in the coming days will reveal if the captain suffered a fifth ACL injury.
Emerging defender Nathan Murphy also came off the ground in the last quarter and was taken to hospital after showing concussion symptoms.
Josh Daicos was the Pies’ best with 36 touches, while Tyler Brown, Tim Broomhead and Tyson Goldsack all impressed in the club’s VFL finale.
VFL Round 21
Collingwood v Box Hill
Saturday, 24 August 2019
Box Hill City Oval
Collingwood 2.8 4.10 6.13 7.15 (57)
Box Hill 1.0 3.4 4.6 11.10 (75)
Goals: Collingwood – Woodward, Glover, Wilson, Stephenson, Lynch, Oxley, Tohill
Box Hill – Ross 2, Mullenger-McHugh 2, Moore 2, Cousins, Boucher, Kositzke, Meadows, Miles
Best: Collingwood – Daicos, Brown, Goldsack, Broomhead, Woodward, Tardew
Box Hill – Pittonet, Mirra, Cousins, Moore, Miles, Mullenger-McHugh