Hawks played against Wychwood on a warm November morning in Oxford. Our resilient supporters were out in force, coffee to keep their hands warm, cheering when the ball hit the back of the goal; which in this game was quite frequent.
Both teams started strongly, wanting to get a foot-hold on the game. It was a little frantic at first trying to get to grips with the oppositions’ formation; nope, still not sure now! Hawks pressed high putting pressure on the Wychwood hit-outs, and it wasn’t long until the home team got their chance. A defensive pass was cut out by Sherene who advanced into the circle and put the ball into the back of the net. It’s always nice to get an early goal. The second goal wasn’t too far behind; a pass from Polly and Sherene deflected the ball into the net. 2-0 up, nice! Defending from the forward line, Wychwood struggled to get the ball out of their half, the Hawks half-backs picked up an loose balls, with the defence spectators for large parts of the first half. Mimi scored the third, an amazing solo run (if I am honest we weren’t quick enough to keep up with her) with a calm finish past the rushing goal-keeper. The fourth was a training ground penalty corner routine; Pip out to Jacs, who returned the ball back to the injector and with a first time sweep slotting the ball at a tight angle into the goal. 4-0 and the supporters were being kept entertained. Wychwood did claw a goal back before half-time; a penalty corner routine that found an unmarked forward who fired the ball home. Perhaps the pending half-time whistle had just impacted the concentration levels, but 4-1 at half-time is still a good score line.
The team were a little flat at half-time, even the haribo couldn’t quite get the buzz going. We started the second half a little on our back foot. BANG! Wychwood scored their second goal of the game. BANG! Wychwood scored a third goal. Panic and confusion ensued …… we took a good look at ourselves, rolled up our sleeves and began to fight back. A few wise heads were needed to slow the game down and get some good possession and soon Hawks dominated play once again. Hawks fifth goal took the stuffing out of Wychwood and shifted the momentum; a long corner taken quickly by Jacs was received by Polly who’s 3D skills lifted the ball past the defender and thumped the ball through a crowded circle into the goal. All the play was now in the Hawks attacking end and the final goal came at the final whistle with a reverse hit by Pip which found the inside of the post. Alice (MOM) and Jane had fine games in the half-back position, good tackles, quick balls, and the occasional dash into the oppositions half.
Six goals was a good reward for our hard work, and we showed great character from a 4-0 position to when Wychwood clawed it back to 4-3. Five games, five wins and a very healthy goal difference. Can’t wait for the next game against local side Oxford. We hope Sophie recovers quickly from a bang to the head.
Thanks also to Evelyn Hargaves for the photos.