Seagulls ride waves for win in Dale Hopgood Memorial match
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Hervey Bay Seagulls upset Across the Waves Tigers 21-18 on Saturday night to reclaim the Dale Hopgood Shield.
In front of a parochial home crowd the Hervey Bay team was up for the contest from the start of the match and dominated the Bundaberg side in the first half.
Seagulls were in control of the match well into the second half, leading 18-6 before kicking a field goal to extend the lead to more than two converted tries.
The field goal was the spark ATW needed to get into the game, racing in two converted tries to bridge the gap to a point with under five minutes to play.
It was a frantic final few minutes with both teams having opportunities to put the match away.
Seagulls received a penalty in front of the ATW goal posts with just over two minutes remaining.
This allowed Logona Vetemotu the opportunity to kick for a penalty goal and put the game out of reach of the Bundaberg team.
Seagulls captain Steve Dwyer was pleased with result.
"We dug deep tonight and showed that we are a proud club,” Dwyer said.
"It was great to have the Old Boys here cheering us on and having the Dale Hopgood Shield return home.”
ATW coach Antonio Kaufusi was disappointed with the effort of his team.
"We were extremely poor in the first half and did not follow our plan, we did some dumb stuff,” he said.
"We put ourselves in that situation and credit to Seagulls, we knew they would be up for this match.”
As the Hopgood Memorial Shield was presented to the Seagulls A grade team, the assembled Old Boys broke into the team song in honour of the players' performance.
Earlier matches played at Stafford Park completed a tri-fecta of wins for the Hervey Bay club.
In the under 18 match Seagulls proved too strong for ATW, winning 16-10.
In A grade women's, Hervey Bay defeated ATW in a tight match, 18-16
In other BRL A grade results the Eastern Suburbs Magpies upset the undefeated Bundaberg Past Brothers 42-24 while Wests Panthers defeated Wallaroos 36-32.