“I’m very proud of the boy’s commitment and effort, especially defending our line,” Hawks captain coach Matt Kirkland said as he sat in the sheds at the Wingham Sporting Complex after overseeing his side’s 18-12 win over the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
The Hawks scored four tries to two in their first win of the season, which was played in torrential rain for the full 80 minutes.
Riley Glover, returning from a rib injury suffered three weeks ago, was superb.
His long, raking kicking game continually turned the Wingham side around, forcing them to begin their sets deep in their own territory in the trying conditions.
“A huge shout out to Harry Edwards,” Kirkland added.
The youngster made his full first grade debut in the nine shirt and was excellent in the middle of the field.
The towering frame of Liam Simon dominated the middle of the ruck, making plenty of metres, but he was not alone, with all the Hawks forwards running and tackling themselves to a standstill.
The Hawks led 10-6 at the break through tries to Chris Simon, who chased a long Glover kick, and Liam Simon, who was too strong as he charged over right on the half time bell.
Second half tries to centres Ben Murray, running strongly off a Glover pass and Beau Lowry on one of his trademark runs down the left, sent the Hawks out to an 18-6 lead before Wingham hit back with a converted try to narrow the margin to six points with 12 minutes remaining on the clock, however the Forster-Tuncurry side defended stoutly to claim their win.
The Hawks will travel to Wauchope this coming Saturday with renewed confidence to take on the Blues knowing a win will move them above their opponents on the premiership table.
The league tag game will kick off the day at 11.30, with the first grade game set down for a 3.15 start.
The Hawks’ next home game will be on Sunday, July 2 when they host the Taree City Bulls.
In other Group 3 matches, Macleay Valley 30 defeated Taree City 26, Port City 46 were too strong for Wauchope 18 and the Port Sharks accounted for Old Bar 18 points to 16.
The premiership table, with six rounds remaining stands as, Port City 24, Macleay Valley 20, Taree City 17, Port Sharks 16, Old Bar 15, Wingham 14, Wauchope 12, and Forster-Tuncurry 10.
In other grades on Sunday, the reserve grade Hawks went down 58-4, the under 18s went down to a 12 man Wingham side, 18-10, while a hat trick of tries to both Talara Morris and Lisa Bullivant helped the ladies league tag side to a win over a plucky Wingham side in miserable conditions, 40-0