THE bus trip through Gunning and on to Crookwell took the Harden Hawks team past countless big wind turbines, perched along the Cullerin Ranges.
As they sped along the road, passing the Grabben Gullen pub signalled 15 kilometres to go. Patches of sun surprisingly greeted our end.
The 2.30pm kick off immediately signaled disaster for the Hawks. Crookwell’s Green Devils raced in for two slashing backline tries and led eight nil.
The Hawks were again their own worst enemy, stealing the ball in a two-man tackle.
From the penalty the green and white potato farmers grubber kicked into Harden’s in goal area to dive on the loose ball for try number three.
The conversion was spot on and Crookwell were well in charge, leading 14 to nil.
The Hawks were being hammered in the 50/50 penalties, but soon stood tall led by captain coach Luke Brown, who charged up the centre to score under the posts. And with James Smith’s conversion successful, the Hawks were on the board six to 14.
A Crookwell forward was then sin-binned for mouthing off and Harden capitalised on this with Nathan Close scoring a great try.
Soon after the, Hawks received a penalty. A quick tap kick saw the ball tossed out to Andrew Jones and he did the rest down the blind side. Fourteen all.
Immediately on resumption of the second stanza Captain Courageous Luke Brown caught the ball, ran a few steps, swiveled, then charged ahead to outpace the opposition to touch down between the sticks.
Harden had hit the front for the first time, leading 20/14.
Crookwell, then from an intercept, scored against the run of play, narrowing the gap 20/18.
Then from a scrum the ball went to the Hawks five eighth Tim Norman. He ran to the left before an inside pass saw Nathan Close cross for a steadying try of the match 26/18.
Harden Hawks from here on took total control. Nathan Close crossed for his second try and Joel Blundell, Daniel Drew also got four pointers.
At this stage Harden Hawks, with a 40 to 18 victory, have bounced back into premiership contention. And this clash this Saturday against the Boorowa Rovers should be worth coming to see.