In their final game before the winter break, Hawks welcomed Bath Buccaneers to BRN, only 2 weeks after beating them in the away leg. It was a cold day, but Hawks began brightly with some strong passing out of the back by Caro Harris and Rowena Hearn, and Bex Oakes distributing the ball well out of the middle. Hayley Sawyer and Lucy Stewart interlinked well to put pressure on the Bath defence and were soon rewarded with a short corner, which was put in the goal by Becky Odlin after the ball was whipped in by Henri Gordon.
At 1-0 up Hawks looked to stabilise the game with some confident passing and transfer of ball. However, against the run of play, Bath soon equalised, catching Hawks unaware to slip in behind and deflect the ball under keeper Jess Hughes to make it 1 all. The equaliser was a wake-up call for Hawks and they responded by pushing forward to test the Bath defensive line up. Twice Hawks nearly scored, having one goal disallowed for a foot on the way in, and seeing another denied by a brilliant piece of defending from a Bath player picking a Bex Oakes cricket shot off the line.
The second half was an end-to-end affair punctuated with exciting moments. Hawks pushed forward with Becky Odlin and Catherine Reaney making threatening penetrations into the opposition D and the Bath keeper being forced into some excellent saves to deny Abigail Flory and Sandra Roche from taking the lead. Bath were well contained by the Hawks midfield and defence and managed only 2 shots on target in the second half, one of which forced a fantastic stick save from Jess Hughes. Hawks dominated the final moments of the match, winning several short corners but just couldn’t find the winning goal. However, the game gave them plenty of positives to take into the Christmas break.