With Poppy in charge, our U18 Girls met Clifton Robinsons in the last 16 of the England Championships Tier 1 Competition, having beaten Marlow in the previous round. Starting the match purposefully, Hawks dominated the first 20 minutes, getting their just rewards with an early goal from Lexi. Before long, a second goal was added, Row sashaying up the field from the Hawks 23, laying the ball off to Lexi on the right wing, whose cross neatly stranded the Clifton keeper, allowing Amy to score on the left post. Poetry in motion!
Unexpectedly 2-0 up, Hawks found their collective laurels and proceeded to rest upon them. Dark clouds began to gather – literally and metaphorically – Clifton shaking off their M4 travel fatigue to get a goal back before half-time as wind-assisted rain and hail started to lash down.
The second 35 minutes definitively marked the match as a game of two halves. Zero goals scored. The Hawks defence came under sustained pressure, Cora, Kirsty, Emily and Evie wresting victory from the jaws of defeat as they faced an onslaught of Clifton penalty corners. Shot-Save/Foul-Repeat. Happily, as the sunshine began to break through the clouds, the Hawks girls came out to play again, Emma, Jess and Siena providing forward momentum so that Maddy, Georgie, Holly and Frankie could get stuck in up front. The match ended with some sustained pressure from Hawks and a flurry of opportunities on goal – including a tomahawk from Row that fizzed past the top corner – the final whistle blowing as the girls took one more PCA for practice.
MOM went deservedly to Chloe, whose reading of the game was sublime. Thanks to Sam for suffering the girl chat in the dug-out, and to Jacqui for umpiring. Hawks now proceed to the Quarter Finals of the EH Championship where they’ll meet Bournemouth for some beach hockey.
Thanks to Vicki Hearn for the photos.