Hawks started the game strongly pressing Horsham back behind their own 23m line, but were unable to create any telling chances against a strong Horsham keeper. With no regular penalty corner strikers available Steve Griffiths stood in, but failing to keep the ball on the deck wasted a few chances. After 10 minutes Chris Hutton pulled up with a back injury and retired from the game. This forced Hawks to reorganise, and for a while lose their way. During which time Horsham were able to break quickly and find their right-winger unmarked at the edge of the D, he controlled the ball and fired high into the net.
At half-time Hawks reorganised again, allowing them to regain control of the game and push for the equaliser. This came 10 minutes into the second half when Steve Griffiths sent Mark Crampton-Smith free on the right with an aerial ball deep into the Horsham half, Mark collected the ball and crossed smartly to the top of the D where the arriving Steve Griffiths controlled and fired home into the bottom left corner.
With Hawks again on top the remainder of the game saw continuous pressure from Hawks with a number of chances failing to find the back of the net. After another failed corner Chris Billington took over, receiving the ball and returning to John Kaluza, the injector, to slap home Hawks second from the left post.
Hawks were able to press for the remainder of the game but were unable to increase their lead and almost paid the price when in the last minute Horsham worked the ball down their right side and across into the D. A good tackle from Crampton-Smith and subsequent obstruction seemed to have earned Hawks a 16yd hit, with both sides in acceptance. Unfortunatley a squabble ensued following the lack of a whistle, and the umpire awarded the home side a penalty stroke.
The Horsham stroke-taker sportingly pushed a deliberately slow stroke for Richard Wilsdon to save.
Report by Steve Griffiths