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Ladies 3s put up a good fight but concede 4 to Sonning 1s

11 February 2017, 13:00, Banbury Road North (Top)

Ladies' 3s 0 - 4 Sonning Ladies 1s

It was the first match of the day on the Top Pitch as the previous two matches had been cancelled due to the weather . The temperature was 1.5C although it felt like -5C. Hands were cold and struggling to keep hold of sticks. It was always going to be a tough game, as Sonning were sitting unbeaten at the top of the league and looking for promotion back into South League. In the previous encounter before Christmas Hawks had been at the receiving end of a 3-1 defeat at Sonning with all conceded goals coming from penalty corners.
 
Hawks started the game on the back foot finding it difficult to break through the Sonning press and make connections going forward.  Katie Merrick worked tirelessly in midfield to close down the advancing opposition and to open up play. Despite this Sonning soon won a penalty corner which was competently dealt with by "Team D", Claire Sibley calmly stopped the ball in front of goal and cleared wide left. Hawks defended Sonning's succession of corners well throughout the half. It was in open play that Sonning put themselves two  goals up in a five minute period when Hawks marking went a little astray.  Half time 2-0 but no goals from penalty corners.
 
After some words from Lizzie at half time and some minor tweaks to formation Hawks came out fighting at the start of the second half. There was a 15 minute period when good connections were made throughout, in particular Lucy Birtles combined well with MOM Alex Grimes to make some excellent moves attacking down the right. Circle penetrations resulted in Hawks winning some penalty corners which they were unfortunate not to convert. Sonning seemed to fall apart for a period, probably due to Hawks being more proactive and aggressive in their defending, however they soon came back into the game and scored their third on the break.  A flick against Hawks was awarded when Claire stopped a goal bound ball with her foot. This was comfortably saved by Linda.  Still no goals from penalty corners, Team D holding strong.... It had to happen, despite some brave running out by Rosie and Nicki, Sonning managed to sneak one in.  Final score 4-0 to Sonning.
 
MOM: Alex Grimes
DOD: Lucy Birtles
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