The O35’s team travelled to Surbiton in the second round of the EH O35’s trophy without their skipper Caroline Baggs, who was on family duties, but Vicky Easton took charge of the team. With some the Olympic squad playing on the other pitch in the EH Cup the crowd were undecided which pitch would provide the most entertaining hockey.
Hawks started strongly, with players represented from the 1st team down to the ladies 6’s, and moved the ball quickly through the midfield, penetrating the circle frequently in the first 10 minutes. The first goal was a decisive move down the right side of the pitch with Rebecca Black swiftly dispatching the ball past the advancing keeper. With Becky Odlin and Claire Collis taking control of the game it was only a matter of time that Hawks would double their lead. Wave after wave of attack and the Surbiton defence struggling to clear the ball, a goal mouth scramble saw Odlin poke the ball home off the post from near range. Surbiton reorganised and changed their shape which saw the Hawks defence stretched, and following a series of short corners they finally scored a goal that got them back in the game.
Second half – still all to fight for. Rumours of a close fought game had found its way to the stands of the other pitch and our crowd numbers surged into double figures.
Surbiton came out the stronger of the teams in the second half and Hawks had to regroup. However, Surbiton’s long ball tactic came off when a long hopefully ball was deflected into the roof of the net. This energised Hawks into another gear, who were the better side on the day, and it was a driving move down the right hand-side finished by Black that took the away team into a well-deserved lead. The game became stretched and Hawks exploited the holes in the Surbiton defence. Caroline Batten, Clare Pritchard Sarah Walker linked together well, and it was Pritchard who converted at the end of a relentless attack with a strike that the keeper could only watch. In the final minutes a penalty stroke was awarded, and with Odlin trying to substitute herself off the pitch, so was told, in no uncertain terms, to get back out to take the stroke ….. which she calmly dispatched down the centre of the goal (lucky!).
With the final score of 5-2, Hawks are waiting eagerly to find out who they face in the next round on 27th November. Bring it on ……