Hawks battle back to stun Under-18s

Chris Quigley
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Health and Performance Hawks’ Clarence Bennett, left, pursues Investors Group U-18s’ Michael McWhirter during the first half of their game at the Wellington Street Sports Complex Monday. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

When the third goal of the first half got by him, Health and Performance Hawks goalkeeper Mike Normore knew it wasn’t his night.

He pulled himself from the game at the half, with his team trailing 3-0.

Then he watched the second half unfold, satisfied from the Wellington Street Sports Complex sidelines, as the Hawks poured in four goals in a 12-minute span in front of backup goalkeeper Scott Walsh to steal the Corner Brook Molson Senior Men’s Soccer League matchup against the Investors Group Under-18s by a 4-3 score on Monday night.

“It was an unbelievable team effort,” said Walsh. “We’re never out of any game. We have a very good offence so you can never count us out.”

The Hawks’ offence came from Brien Pattenden, Ryan Harnett, Clarence Bennett and an own-goal charged against Under-18s’ Matt Collins.

Tiuri Lomond, Daniel Whitten and Michael McWhirter did the damage offensively for the losing side.

Tyler Kelloway suffered the defeat in the Under-18s’ net.

Walsh, who typically plays right back for the Hawks, wasn’t expecting to get the call to play goal, not even as the whistle blew to end the first half. When Normore indicated he was coming out of the game, however, Walsh had to quickly prepare himself.

“It’s definitely hard, but where I played (right back) in the first half, I was already warm,” he said. “I felt good coming in and just tried to do the best I could to get the win for the boys.”

Of course, when a team is down 3-0, there’s not much a goalie can do but try to stop the fourth goal from going in and hope for the best.

“The boys did a great job,” Walsh said. “We stayed composed, got the first goal and then built off it. We shut it down defensively and got the W.

“We were more alert,” he added. “We woke up in the second half and played our game. We just ran and spread the field.”

Whitten began the scoring in the 14th minute, before McWhirter struck just two minutes later to put the Hawks in a 0-2 hole.

Lomond’s marker came in the 34th minute and should have really iced it — but nobody told the Hawks.

Pattenden got his side on the board in the 66th minute and the momentum swung like a pendulum.

Harnett’s goal followed in the 72nd minute, then the own-goal occurred in the 74th.

Tie game.

Just two minutes after that, Bennett broke through for the eventual game-winner.

The following is a summary of other league games:

West Side Monarchs 4, Sorrento Tactics FC 1

Two goals from Brad Roberts helped the Monarchs down the Tactics on Monday night at George (Daddy) Dawe Memorial Pitch.

Tyler Lavers and Santiago Villa also bulged the mesh for the Monarchs. Adam Anderson had the only Tactics goal.

Steers Insurance Curling Rangers 3, Clancy’s FC 1

Chris Griffin, Brad Burton and Ronald Jesseau scored for the Rangers at Wellington Sunday night.

Allan Flynn was the lone marksman for the Stephenville entry.

The first-place Hawks improved to 8-2-3 on the year, ahead of the Rangers’ mark of 7-2-5. The Monarchs jumped into third spot, now sporting a 5-5-3 record, while the Under-18s dropped to 5-5-2. Clancy’s are 1-3-0 on the year in their abbreviated schedule, ahead of the Tactics, who are 0-9-3 so far.

Organizations: Wellington Street Sports Complex, Corner Brook Molson Senior Men, Soccer League Investors Group Under Monarchs Rangers

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