Amongst many Summer staples, we can all resonate with the extraordinary vanilla taste of the Mr Whippy ice cream. You can, therefore, be forgiven if Hawks’ Men’s 4th XI friendly fixture against Northampton Saints sounds familiar to your favourite Summer indulgence.
Unquestionably, the most enjoyable experience of the soft ice-cream classic is that first mouthful. Indeed, our discerning customers will argue that the flake is a welcome addition to the deck chair accompaniment. The opening 15 minutes were silky and stylish. Mr ice cream man himself, Eddie Baldock, set the tone by playing free flowing, fast hockey; creating chances that our forward line finished with aplomb. Fine hold-up play and tantalising stick skills from Olly Doggett was a feature of the first half, enabling his team-mates to join in on this tasty affair. Hawks found themselves 3-0 up in no time at all.
Banbury Road North basked in glorious sunshine. Just like our 99p friend, however, our men in maroon began to melt in the scorching heat. Despite finishing half-time 4-1 up, the message from captain Gary Mahon was clear: simple mistakes should not be tolerated. We can all relate to the disastrous outcome created by a dripping ice cream.
If the first half was the ice cream, the second half was the cone (cornet?!). Structure was maintained but the ice cream was missing. Backline stalwarts Tom Harris and James Holder ensured that Hawks defence remained difficult to break. Further standout performances from Finn Rumsby, Charlie Warner and Arthur Baldock also ensured that Hawks did not allow the mighty Northampton Saints to gain a foothold in the game. However, the temperature caused the pace of the game to suffer. As controversial as it may be, the cone is a disappointment. Unless, of course, you are one of the fortunate few to enjoy a final helping of vanilla ice cream towards the bottom end. Hawks’ loyal supporters were treated to some superb late build-up play, enabling Eddie Baldock to finish well and ensure that Hawks would start, and end, their pre-season preparations 6-2 winners.
The 4’s begin their MBBO League 2 promotion push next week at BRN with a 15:00 push-back against Wycombe 3’s. Talk of chocolate sauce and sprinkles should not be discounted...