Oxford Hawks made the long journey down to Exeter to face mid-table Isca, hoping to build on their strong performance the previous week. However they started sloppily, giving Isca easy possession with simple errors, but managed to hold out until half time with Ria Male in the Hawks goal being called upon to make some top class saves.
In the second half Hawks seemed to wake up and had the lion’s share of possession and chances in the game, with Caro Harris in commanding form at the back. Hawks almost took the lead when Harris played the ball from the back, and two passes later the ball was crossed to Abi Flory who volleyed the bouncing ball narrowly wide. Moments later, Hawks did get the ball in the back of the net with an instinctive finish from Briony Anyon, but the umpire had already blown his whistle for a penalty corner so the goal did not stand. Hawks didn’t take advantage of the resulting corner, and were made to pay the price moments later when Isca broke and played an intelligent 1-2 around keeper Male to leave their striker with an easy finish into an empty net. The away side reacted well and continued to string together good passages of play, but couldn’t convert chances or any of their five penalty corners – with the opposition keeper making an outstanding save to deny Kara Haines in the last minute of the game. Hawks made the long journey home disappointed with their performance, and will be determined to up the standard when they face Gloucester this weekend.