Round five of the George Tooke Shield saw Harden Hawks journey to the Workers Arena in Goulburn to take on the Gordon Highlanders.
Harden set themselves for a highly competitive match and that’s exactly what they received.
The Hawks began well and their kick-off found touch deep in the Highlanders’ territory.
On tackle five they kicked ahead but were penalised for being in front of the kicker.
Goulburn’s side advanced but knocked on.
Gaining possession Harden’s Jeb White charged up centre field but with a try beckoning the final pass went astray.
Not long after however Luke Brown dived over and with James Smith’s conversion Harden led 6 nil.
After receiving the ball from the recommencement of play Harden squandered possession and their opponents capitalised when captain coach Mitch Brown scored in a handy spot – 6 all.
Play was at this stage fairly scrappy and when Luke Brown, Harden’s lock forward was tackled awkwardly play was held up while he left the field.
The small rest must have aided the Hawks because soon after their captain coach Peter Adam went in for his try under the posts. Harden now led 12-6.
Handling overall from both teams was poor but the Highlanders tis time hung onto te ball and scored in the corner, 12-10.
They were in again when their winger did likewise and Goulurn had hit the front 16-12.
And as they did each time they scored the piper on the bagpipes burst into tune with Scottish songs.
Not to be outdone Harden’s Zip Zip Man Daniel Drew (orange boots and all) flashed across soon after and the Hawks were back in front, also courtesy of a sideline conversion from James Smith, 18-16.
This was the half time score and it was a matter of “anything could happen”.
Not long after oranges (or nowadays bottles of water) long standing Harden forward Tyson Astill, made a burst up the middle and a well timed pass to fullback Gus Logie resulted in a try in a handy position.
Play was going from one end to the other.
The Hawks gave away a penalty and the Highlanders surged forward for another try.
At Harden 24 Highlanders 22 the Goulburn team retaliated and when they looked like hitting the front, through a wild pass and Harden was out of Goulburn jail.
As the long dark shadows from the big grand stand lengthened across the lush playing field, it looked like the Highlanders were finishing the stronger.
This was emphasised when they scored another try and led 26-24.
Harden, to their credit attacked with momentum.
But when the ball was stripped off them the referee ruled a one man tackle when all at the ground knew it was a two man strip.
Harden’s skipper appealed by was penalised for dissent.
It looked as though all Harden’s hope had gone because Goulburn Highlanders had the ball and only two minutes of time remained.
The never say die Hawkies in the heat of battle fought on.
From inside their own half, Harden’s hooked Daniel Drew picked up the ball from dummy half and weaved his way through the Highlanders and with 25 metres still to go passed to Jeb White, Harden’s big flying front rower who cruised in between the posts and with Smithies conversion the siren sounded and the mighty Harden Hawks had been victorious 20 points to 26.
Best players: 3 Tyson Astill, 2 Jeb White, 1 James Smith.
This Saturday 3pm Harden Hawks play Binalong Brahmans at McLean Oval, Harden.
Both teams undefeated so far and it will not be a class to miss.
George Tooke results: Crookwell 20 Bungendore 14, Binalong 82 Boomanulla 6, Yass 22 Canberra Cows 20, Harden 30 Goulburn 26, Boorowa Bye.
Harden’s Luke Brown was on the end of this dangerous tackle that forced him to leave the field in the Hawks’ win over Gordon Highlanders at Goulburn on the weekend.
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