The Adelaide Hills Hawks senior team lost their final game of the season against a well drilled West Torrens Birkalla 4 - 2. The result combined with Western Strikers win over Seaford meant that Strikers leapfrogged the Hawks into 6th place, one point above the Hills unit.
The Hawks started in the worst possible way when Birkalla import and former Queens Park Rangers youth team player Trey Williams was given too much time in midfield and his through ball found Will Plush who played the ball to the far post for Crossing to score in the first minute. The Hawks replied after 9 mins after good work from Daniel Hosking found Kyle Markham who expertly finished from a narrow angle. Birkalla continued to cause havoc down their left hand side and Plush doubled their lead after some confusion in the Hawks defensive third.
At 2-1 down the Hawks needed to go into a more offensive frame of mind. Skipper Jake Loechel was bought into the fray after returning from a long term injury. The Hawks were dealt a double blow after commiting players forward when Crossing scored on 55 mins then Williams scored five minutes later. Dan Ryles, Ollie Grant, Owen Smith and Sam Bowman were bought on in an effort to find goals. Bowman scored with a classy finish after good work by Grant on the 92 min Mark. It was a fitting reward for Bowman who has been such a loyal and highly respected member of the club who has stood by the Hawks through thick and thin.
Despite many players being down on their game Nick Walker, Nathan Elliott, Kyle Markham and Daniel Hosking put in good performances.
On a positive note, the club celebrated the achievements of Daniel Hosking ( 200 games) and Nathan Elliott ( 400 games - a club record). These two players are held in such high regard for their loyalty and support of the club since their junior days. It was a fitting reward that many of the club's great support base were there to acknowledge their magnificent achievements.
As the dust settles, the Hawks can feel proud of their achievements this season after securing their place in next year's State League 1 competition and missing out on finals by the narrowest of margins. Along the way they picked up some big scalps in the top six. Many lessons have been learnt from playing in a higher level of competition. Which will stand them in good stead for next season.