Just like that, the start of a new season beckoned and Oxford Hawks Ladies 2s headed to Guildford full of anticipation and excitement of being back into the hockey routine. We were playing in a pre-season tournament involving a number of local hockey teams, with our opposition being Guildford and Barnes.
The first game against Guildford was a great team performance. We didn’t have long to warm up but this did not cause any problems as Hawks flew out of the blocks and instantly put Guildford under pressure with our speed of counter attack. Lilli H, Harriet H, Gemma and Connie combined brilliantly to put us 3 ahead at half time. In the second half after wise words from Emily Wilkins, we worked lengthier passages of play from defence through to attack and were unlucky not to score more. We also weathered the storm as Guildford began to build their own pressure on counter attack, but held firm in defence to finish 3-0 winners of our first outing. We were really pleased with the overall performance and looked forward to creating more chances in the game against Barnes.
Barnes presented a tougher opposition than Guildford and certainly demanded more of Hawks from the off. We were able to manage this well by good communication across the team as well as continuing to take chances to break away. Connie finished off a fine solo run with a shot into the bottom corner of the net and we headed into half time 1-0 up. Shortly after half time, Barnes were able to work a goal of their own and from there the two teams battled to maintain possession. There was solid defending from Laura and April and great jumping back across the team, which helped to keep the final score at 1-1. It was a shame not to have scored a winner but overall it was fantastic first outing for a bright looking Hawks Ladies 2s team.
We very much look forward to the next pre-season outing against local rivals Oxford and relish another chance to put our hard work at training into practice.