With strict instructions from AWP captain Caroline (Absent With Permission) to make South Masters League newcomers South Berks feel welcome Jacs and Phil took up the challenge by making sure that the sun was shining over Oxford Hawks. With a full Eagles squad the feeling was that despite the above seasonal temperature we should be able to put on a good performance and get some points from the first game of the season. After a team photo - well we do look our best before the game - taken by Deborah, South Berks started the stronger and were soon exerting pressure getting into their attacking mode. Eagles keeper Linda rallied her defence of Vicky, Bernie L, Emma, Bernie U, Phil and Jacs and denied South Berks the reward of any goal for the first quarter of the match. Despite some welcome relief as the Eagles had their own opportunities on the break from forwards Bella, Clare, Rebecca, Sherene, Sarah, Caz and Linda P it was South Berks who got their name on the score-sheet first. The Eagles started to connect with some great passes out from defence from MOM Vicky and finally one such pass found Sherene who was there to sweep the ball in to bring the score back to level pegging by the time the half-time whistle blew.
The second half was almost a repeat of the first with South Berks going ahead again with a well worked goal that caught the Eagles defence on the back foot. However with 4 extra players the Eagles were able to sustain some continued pressure which resulted in a series of short corners. The straight strike and slip left failed to work but then the slip right met Rachel's waiting stick and her shot to goal was always going to hit that back-board. In the last 10 minutes the Eagles came close to getting a potentially winning goal when Rebecca surprised Diz with her pass from the right, across in front of the goal only to see Diz's shot hit the post to deny the Eagles a third goal. With 2-2 the final result, the points were shared and the Eagles left looking forward to showers, teas and the rest of the 2016-17 season.