Hawks U14A Girls were rampant in their penultimate England Hockey Girls U14 Midlands League match at Witney, this victory moving them up into second place.
From the off, Hawks put Witney under pressure, early shots from Jess, Row and Izzy S building team confidence. Witney’s defenders absorbed this early pressure well and, 8 minutes in, their breakaway run down the right flank brought Jess and Cora into action. A disallowed Hawks goal after 10 mins gave the girls renewed determination and a succession of penalty corners followed. The breakthrough finally came from a corner, Jess injecting to Row, whose strike from the top of the D proved unstoppable. Two more goals then came within the space of 3 minutes. First, Maddie surged down the right wing, crossing the ball to Holly, who had taken up an excellent position in front of goal and made scoring look easy. Then another goal for Row, Susie involved in the delivery this time, with a well orchestrated 1-2 at the top of the D allowing Row to waltz in past the defenders. The first half finished with Hawks comprehensively on top as penalty corners and long corners followed swiftly in succession, Gemma, Holly, Dila and Amelia putting in battling performances in mid-field to keep the game pressed high, giving Witney no time to compose themselves when outletting the ball. 3-0 at half-time.
Witney came out strongly in the second half, putting the Hawks defence immediately under pressure and forcing a great save from Cora. Hawks soon got back into their groove, though, using the width of the pitch to great effect for the whole match to stretch Witney’s defence, Alexia, Maddie, Georgia and Imogen showing impressive commitment in their running. More penalty corners were awarded to Hawks , Holly scoring her second of the day from one of these, her on-target shot deflected past the keeper by an unfortunate Witney defender. Holly was again involved in the fifth goal, this time providing a lovely connecting pass to Izzy S, who retained good composure to score. 15 mins into the second half, Izzy S struck again, finishing what was probably the best team goal of the day – Row spreading the play wide right to Imogen, a strong run and a cross into the D to Georgia, whose shot was tipped in by Izzy S. 6-0 to Hawks. One minute later, Row got her hat-trick, Georgia powering down the wing this time, delivering a perfect cross to Row at the top of the D for another accurate strike. It was Susie and Georgia battling for possession that created the opportunity for the next goal, Georgia driving into the D before passing to Izzy R, who showed great anticipation to get into a scoring position – and made no mistake in front of goal. The final goal came with 3 minutes left of play, Row delivering a long pass into the D, which was picked up by Izzy R; her shot was saved, but Annabelle followed up on the far post to score. Coaches love it when those training moves come off in a match!
Hawks U14s: Alexia, Amelia, Annabelle, Cora, Dila, Gemma, Georgia, Holly, Imogen, Izzy R, Izzy S, Jessica, Madeleine, Rowena and Susie
Goals: Rowena 3, Holly 2, Izzy S 2, Izzy R 1, Annabelle 1