5s back in the promotion race with win against league leaders
17 January 2015, 11:30, St. Edward's School
Men's 5s 2 - 1 Harrow Men's 1s
Hawks 5 hosted league-leading Harrow 1 this week. The London side had dispatched the 5s with ease in early October, and were threatening to pull away from the rest of the table as they opened their second half. The 5s had also struggled the week before in Banbury, so everything was pointing towards a long 70 minutes of hockey for the home side.
The day broke cold, with a frosting of snow, but TIm's report assured that St. Edward's was playable and by push-back the sun was shining. Jonny Atkins, joining the 5s between the pipes, astutely noted the glare of the low sun for the team playing south, so we switched ends and the 5s made the most of the advantage.
Ed Baldock, returning for the first time to the hockey pitch after an injury that had him out for 18 months, made an immediate impact at centre striker, providing the midfielders — some combination of Chris Larrner, Doug Harris, Sam Raynor, and Dunners — with a great target upfield and repeatedly securing possession for the 5s in Harrow territory. The pressure paid off when he collected a ball from Harris, dropped the drawers of a Harrow defender and slotted the ball past an on-rushing keeper. Hawks took a well-deserved lead into the half.
Harrow opened scoring in the second half to draw level, but the 5s restored their lead when Nathan Sutton, fed with a pass from Harris at the top of the circle, pulled right past a defender and then right past the keeper before depositing the ball in the netting. Harrow pressed, but Captain Rob Oldershaw marshalled the back third of the pitch from his position as sweeper, and the indefatigable James Holder was a dominant presence at centre-back, pushing up into the midfield and covering back.
A glorious day, a great result against the league leaders, and after last week's post-Christmas wobble, the 5s are back in the hunt for promotion.
Man of the Match — James Holder