As the HeyTour Hawks continue to soar high, the fast improving OnePure Wolves sought to claw a victory and revitalise their LearnCoach New Zealand Badminton League campaign last night at Waitakere Badminton.
The Hawks made quick work of the early exchanges racing to a 3-0 lead courtesy of strong all-round performances.
In a tactical move which surprised many, Hawks' coach Tony Griffen opted to play Ryan Tong over the undefeated Abhinav Manota in the Men's Singles. The switch was rewarded as Tong saved a match point, before converting his own, to jubilant celebrations from Hawks' faithful.
Refusing to be caged, Courtney Trillo was ruthless from the outset in the Women's Singles as the Hawks sensed an early victory. The rapid-fire win ensured there was no room for error in the Wolves' response over the remaining three matches.
The Men's Doubles promised plenty of excitement with New Zealand's top-ranked pair, Oliver Leydon-Davis and Abhinav Manota, on opposite sides of the net. Leydon-Davis, along with partner Evan Wong, showed early promise claiming a tight first game. However, as badminton fans have come to expect, the class of Manota soon shone through, as he and partner Dhanny Oud secured the win, ending any hope of a Wolves' come-back.
Splitting the remaining two matches, the Hawks' largest win of the season sees them strengthen as competition favourites, while the Wolves find themselves in the unenviable position of facing a must win tie against Tiger Brokers Tigers next Wednesday.
The Crystal Ashley Match Day MVP was awarded to HeyTour Hawks Ryan Tong.
Full match details: HeyTour Hawks vs OnePure Wolves