Hawks flying high

by admin on March 24, 2014

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Helensvale Hawks won the battle of the birds, 64-62, swooping on the 2014 Premier League title with a dramatic last bowl win over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
Brett Wilkie’s comeback victory 25-13 proved vital in the title decider, as his fellow Helensvale skip Mark Casey was edged out, 20-21, while Nathan Rice took a hammer blow, losing 19-28.
Ironically it was Rice’s rink that ultimately decided the match. With Jackaroos captain Lynsey Clarke in his ranks, Rice held firm late in the final end as Seagulls skip Jason Hoy tried desperately to add the extras.
But Hoy failed to make it count, and the Hawks got their hands on the trophy at Club Pine Rivers.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” beamed Rice. “It’s not about a rink win, it’s about the overall score. It may not look pretty, but in the end it worked out well.”
Despite getting a handsome rink victory for the Hawks, Brett Wilkie, who fought back from 11-2 down, conceded it was a hard slog in the final.
“It was a great fight. We were up against the wall.”
“We dropped a seven earlier, which knocked us around a fair bit. We were lucky enough on our rink to claw our way back into the game,” said Wilkie, who also praised the support staff behind the scenes at Helensvale.
The tightest rink on the day had Mark Casey facing off with Brendan Egan, who was raising money for the World’s Greatest Shave by dying his hair red and yellow.
A day of trading single points, finally brought relief for the jubilant Hawks skip, despite going down.
“Everyone wants to win this title,” grinned Casey. “It was a cracking game, down to the final bowl, you can’t ask for more than that.”
Casey had expected a tough encounter against the team who finished third on the ladder.
“They’ve got no weaknesses, we knew they were going to be a hard team to beat.”
Helensvale went about it in a long-winded fashion, almost giving it away before the half way mark.
The Seagulls raced out to a 23-15 lead across three rinks early in the match.
Egan knew the Gulls had to keep focus, despite scoring well early on.
“We could have run away with it, but went stiff a couple of times and some opportunities went missing. But with it being Helensvale, the calibre of their players exposed us,” he said.
With a line up containing Australian internationals, the Hawks could always threaten, and that is exactly what they did.
Wilkie turned the screw, and along with Anthony Keipe, regained control of a rink which once looked lost.
Judd Percy felt the pressure of Wilkie’s well-drilled unit.
“We definitely had the dominance up until halfway. But unfortunately on our rink momentum dropped and Wiz (Brett Wilkie) just pulled those bowls out of where ever he hides them. He was unbelievable.”
Percy was happy with how the Seagulls turned around a disappointing start to the tournament.
“To make it this far was a well fought battle. In the back half of the season we were struggling to make the top six, but the effort today showed a lot of character from the boys.”