The sun shone brightly for the U12s trip to Bloxham to play in the In2Hockey tournament on Sunday.
The girls were full on enthusiasm going into the tournament, and although appreciating it wouldn’t be easy, everyone was keen to rise to the challenge and enjoy a day of good Hockey.
Game 1. Hawks 3 – 0 Witney.
In their first game against Witney, Hawks came out strong. The first half of the game saw Hawks maintaining possession; making simple, early passes using every player on the pitch. The chasing Witney side soon tired, allowing Hawks to find an exposed foot in the D and win a short corner. Hawks went route 1 and a hard strike by Lexie down the keeper’s left foot saw Hawks go 1-0 up.
Composed distribution from Calla in the centre of the field found Bea on the left wing. Some silky skills later, Bea was in the D and coolly slotted the ball into the goal.
Realising time was against them, Witney push high up the pitch, hoping to put Hawks defence under pressure. However, Lucille could not be rattled. She found a long outlet ball through to Kitty from a 16, who received the ball in flow and raced towards a single, startled looking Witney player. Drawing in the foul, Kitty won Hawk’s second short corner of the game. Once again, Hawks went for the direct approach and Lexie struck home the third goal.
Game 2. Hawks 1 – 0 Bicester.
After a fairly long break in their schedule, and the athlete’s lunch of hot dogs and burgers from the BBQ, Hawks started their second game slowly.
Bicester came out strong and put the Hawks defence under huge pressure. Teddy, in the Hawks goal, had to make some crucial saves to prevent Bicester from scoring.
Clearly this was the shock to the system that Hawks needed. The girls began to string together some passes and started to look more threatening. Katie commanded the space in the middle of the pitch; making crucial tackles and distributing quick balls out wide. One such ball made its way to Sophia on the left hand side, who fired the ball with pace across the D to honour who was waiting on the far post for a tap in. A great passage of play by Hawks!
Bicester hadn’t lost their fight however, and in the last 5 minutes of the game, they were all over Hawks. Some excellent defensive work from Issy kept Bicester at bay until the dying seconds of the game when Bicester had a 1V1 with the Hawks keeper. Teddy rushed out to the top of the D. The quick Bicester forward took the ball to Teddy’s left hand side. Teddy looked beaten, but somehow, she managed to get a stick on the ball that was trickling towards the goal. Saved by the whistle, Hawks managed to end on a win.
Game 3. Hawks A 0 – 0 Hawks B
In the A’s third game of the tournament they met with their biggest rivals yet- the Bs! Both sides displayed some impressive Hockey, but a stand out performance from Lottie Allan in the Bs goal, denied the As the third win they were trying so hard to achieve. The Bs challenged the As defence also, with some impressive strikes from Evie and Zoe forcing Teddy to make some crucial saves.
The teams were too closely matched (and definitely too nice to each other!) and so the game ended a 0-0 draw.
Game 4. Hawks A 0 – 1 Oxford A
The post-lunch slump couldn’t have come at a worse time for the As. They knew that the game against Oxford A was going to be a tough one, and within the opening minute, Oxford proved their dominance. Pouncing on a sluggish start from Hawks, Oxford played some brilliant passing Hockey which lead to a cross and a tap in on the far post. A solid team goal from Oxford.
Hawks seemed to find some momentum in the last few minutes, testing the Oxford keeper, but their efforts weren’t enough and the score line remained 1-0.
Game 5. Hawks A 0 – 1 Wallingford A
Going into their final game, Hawks knew that they needed a win to ensure their passage into the semi-finals. But this game wasn’t going to be easy. A physically stronger Wallingford side lined up for the starting whistle, but the Hawks girls were not afraid.
Hawks won procession early on and demonstrated some of the best Hockey they had played all day. Moving the ball over the whole pitch, Hawks looked determined and threatening. The Wallingford keeper kept her team in it, making a number of very good saves.
Wallingford continued to defend well, and began to spot gaps in a goal hungry Hawks defensive line. Wallingford won two short corners which were executed well, but not well enough to wrong foot Teddy, who again, made some crucial saves in the Hawks goal.
Knowing that a draw wouldn’t be enough to see them through, Hawks pushed up as a unit in the final minute of a game. This was a risk that had to be taken, but sadly didn’t pay off. The Wallingford centre forward intercepted the ball on the half way line and had a clear run at goal. Teddy stormed out of her goal to put the Wallingford played under pressure, but the forward kept her cool, and slotted in a net high slap from just inside the circle. A very well taken goal.
Unfortunately, finishing 3rd in their group, the As didn’t quite do enough to progress through to the semi-finals. However, all agreed that they had a thoroughly good day out, and that they should be very proud of their performances.