The cup encounter between Oxford Hawks and Reading Under 18 Girls produced a top quality game of hockey and a match that kept spectators on their toes!
Hawks went 1 - 0 up very early on through Becca Cannon and Bethany Nagle extended their lead mid-way through the first half. However, Reading always looked threatening and managed to pull two back before half time. Going into the second half, Hawks' midfield of Lucy Millington, Ella Cusack and Storm Sunderland caused Reading numerous problems and Hawks got into Reading's circle on several occasions. A resulting penalty corner saw Lucy Millington coolly beat the first two runners before slotting the ball past the keeper to put Hawks back into the lead.
For a significant part of the second half, the defence of Lou Heathcote, Annabel Gulliver, Eleanor Grainge, Emma Hunter and Emily Dawes kept a strong Reading forward line under control and Hawks certainly looked to have the upper hand when Storm Sunderland scored Hawks' fourth goal. Hawks forward line of Bethany Nagle, Lyndsey White, Becca Cannon and Emma Milne always looked dangerous going forward as well as repeatedly putting pressure on Reading's back four and Hawks were unlucky to not extend their lead when Ella Cusack hit the cross bar. However, Reading continued to test Hawks and scored again with five minutes to go setting up a nail biting final few minutes for the spectators. Hawks successfully defended two penalty corners in the final two minutes with Megan Magrosky in the Hawks goal making absolutely sure Reading could not get the ball over the line and see the home team through to a well earned victory.
Well played to all the girls and many thanks to Steve Curnock for umpiring and Sam Clark for assistance with coaching.