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Dry start to January for the Ladies 3s

11 January 2020, 14:00, Henwick

Ladies' 3s 3 - 5 Newbury & Thatcham Ladies' 1s

After a December of healthy eating, strength and conditioning and intense fitness training, the Ladies 3s team turned up for their first game of 2020 ready and raring to go. Okay, maybe not, but we *were* really excited to be playing hockey again (/to catch up with our hockey chums).
The home fixture vs N&T was a nerve wracking game of cat and mouse with Hawks just coming out victors at 5-4; the re-match away was destined to be a close one. The squad gathered in the changing rooms preparing themselves to put out a strong performance following a great team talk from co-captain Hopey reminding players to focus on the basics and play simple hockey.
A delayed match on the slot before us left us little time to warm up with sticks and unfortunately it showed in our first few minutes of hockey. N&T looked fit, fast and well drilled and immediately put Hawks on the back foot. A recently recurring theme ... the L3s like to go a few goals down before attempting to bring the win back. Accordingly, N&T scored early in the first half, once from a short corner strike, and secondly from a succession of quick breaks from N&T forwards. Linda was able to superbly deflect an initial 1-1 but sadly we succumbed to a second leaving the score at 2-0.
A combination of KK and Beth in the middle provided a fantastic pair for distributing the ball and settling the play down; soon Hawks started to perform as they have for the first half of the season and the game was looking a lot more promising. End to end hockey ensued with some textbook complementary leads by forwards Zoe, Priya and Karen and two fantastic 1-1 attempts on goal by Minty. Sadly these were scuppered by a skilful keeper and we were unfortunate not to hit the backboard. 
Unfortunately due to the excitement of the second half, the author of the match report isn’t entirely sure what happened for the remainder of the game ... in short - there was some brilliant transfer work from team D and a number of cracking line balls from MOM Beth, who went on to score a stunning short corner and then an open play goal. Minty, who loves it up in the dirty zone was keen to get on the scoresheet too after her earlier unsuccessful encounters with N&Ts GK and slotted another goal away to give three goals to Hawks. I should probably mention N&T scored 3 more during the course of the game meaning they won the 5-3. Bugger.
Despite the scoreline it was a great overall performance by Hawks and it showed the determination and grit we have to succeed in the second half of the season.
As expected following an superb team performance, MOM votes were spread across the squad but the winner goes to Beth for hard-work, composure and excellent goal- scoring skills. DOD was joint between to the newest recruit to #nobrasquad who was sadly unable to play the following week, so went solely to Clare P for forgetting earlier DOD cakes (and I think because the team now have a taste her great baking)!
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