Oxford Hawks welcomed Firebrands to BRN for the final game of the National League season. Firebrands, desperate for a win to give them a chance to avoid the relegation play offs started strongly and did not look like a side languishing at the wrong end of the table. However despite a number of penalty corners, Hawks defended exceptionally well and Jess Hughes in goal could not be beaten. At the other end Hawks fashioned a number of chances themselves, coming close from corners but the away keeper was on top form.
In the second half Hawks came out firing, and enjoyed some good long spells of possession which was rewarded when Lucy Stewart converted the rebound from a penalty corner strike. However their joy was short lived as Firebrands drove down the right and crossed in, for their centre forward to deflect in from the narrowest of angles. With only ten minutes to go, Hawks were not prepared to settle for another draw, and threw everything they had at Firebrands, with Ella Cusack in commanding form in midfield. Good work from Lex Thomas on the left resulted in a corner, which Lucy Millington slammed into the corner to give the home side the lead. Firebrands then pushed everyone forward, desperate to get back in the game, but the Hawks defence remained composed and spaces started to appear all over the pitch. A pinpoint pass from Becky Hibbert found Cusack completely unmarked at the top of the area and she took full advantage as she slammed the ball past the helpless keeper, much to the relief of the home crowd. Seconds later the whistle blew to draw the game and season to a close, with three points and a strong performance to end on.Thanks to Clive Jones for the photos.