Hawks Ladies 5s travelled to Reading for an early afternoon game – the question is always whether to have lunch first or not, perhaps brunch? Reading shared their tactics with Caroline who happened to be in the toilet at the time – “2 high, 1 just behind, Hawks are playing away from home so won’t be so strong” – ha ha, I think not!
The game was evenly contested in the first 10 minutes with Hawks spraying the ball high and wide, and Reading using their youth and speed through the middle. A number of openings were being created at each end of the pitch but little that worried either goal-keeper. Hawks won a series of penalty corners and Mary ventured over the half-way line to take the strike; shots were just off target but Hawks soon opened the scoring through Sherene from open play. Quick thinking by Susan and Becky, Priya’s acceleration of pace and an early ball into the circle was tucked away – Hawks deserved the lead. Both teams competed strongly, tackles were made but Hawks’ usual flowing hockey wasn’t quite showing its usual form. Reading took their chance and equalised from a shot taken at the top of the circle which squeezed its way under Purdy’s foot – a little bit fortuitous but good teams bounce back. And bounce back we did; a break down the right with slick passing between Jane and MOM Priya found Pip who entered the top of the circle …….. will she pass it, maybe …… no. Bosh – a straight strike that thundered into the goal. Celebrations were a little subdued as her team mates thought that the ball had gone into the side netting but Pip soon put us right.
So a strong team talk at half-time from Polly and Jacs, the team energy felt a little flat, but with lots still in the tank Hawks took the game to Reading in the second half. Reading couldn’t deal with the pace of Priya, Lily and Harry, opportunities being created but the final ball was not quite on the mark (practice makes perfect!). It was only a matter of time for Hawks to extend their lead and they did through captain Polly. Jane and Sophie worked in tandem, the final ball to Polly who weaved her way through a number of players without being challenged and slipped the ball past the advancing keeper. The third goal was a crushing blow to Reading and you could sense their heads dropping. The 4th goal, Sherene’s second of the match, again was the result of good ball retention and movement starting at the back with Jane. The Reading goal-keeper made an initial save but the ball became free and Sherene slapped the ball home – just glad Lily moved out of the way as she would have ended up in the goal too!
So that’s the 14th win in succession, only a matter of time before we are guaranteed promotion. Watch out Hawks ladies 4s, we right on your heels.