In what can only be described as a very busy weekend of hockey, the final game of the weekend at BRN was the quarter final of the EH U18 Girls Cup Competition between Hawks and Exeter based side Isca.
In an exciting, nail biting game of fantastic hockey, both teams created chances in the early exchanges but it was Isca who took the lead with a well taken strike from the edge of the area high into the net. A robust defence of Briony Hearn, Sally Clark, Laura Scragg, Katie Cannon, Megan Wild and Paige Davis together with some fine saves from Issy Cumming in goal, ensured that all other attacks by the West Country team came to nothing and a number of threatening penalty corners were kept out.
At the other end of the pitch, Hawks continued to look dangerous and five minutes before half time an Abigail Flory lead from the half way line was met by a perfectly executed pass from Emily Black on the edge of the circle. The Hawks forward took the ball left and found space to shoot with a spectacular reverse stick strike into the far corner leveling the scoreline going into half time much to the delight of the home crowd.
Hawks defence was tested in the first fifteen minutes of the second half and Laura Scragg was called upon to make a fine goal line clearance to prevent Isca from taking the lead but the scores remained level. As the game went on it was Hawks who looked more likely to find the winner with some well created attacks through the midfield of Georgia Perkins, Jenny Dingwall, Saskia Delacave and Lucy Poffley. Forwards, Kasey Butler, Sophie Bennett and Jess Oakhill all threatened and came close on a number of occasions but could not find the elusive winning goal.
So...no extra time, possibly to the relief of the four girls who had already played in the 1st XI game against Buckingham only hours earlier in the day but straight to flicks...and it turned out to be Isca's day in the lottery that is penalty strokes.
Huge credit to a fantastic Hawks team who know how to play entertaining hockey in just the right spirit. On this occasion, it turned out not to be your day...bring on Wycombe next week in the final league game of the season.
Thank you very much to Clive Jones for the great photos and to all the spectators who braved the rain to support the girls.