Dennis wasn’t the only storm brewing at BRN on Saturday. There were at least some parallels in the second A34 derby of the season between Hawk’s Men’s 4’s and Abingdon 1’s.
After hard-fought, yet, unconvincing performances in the last couple of weeks, Tom Harris led a rallying cry to the 4’s during the warm-up. The impact was clear- Hawks came firing out of the blocks. In an attack spearheaded by Rich Tyser, Arthur Baldock and Paul Scragg, Hawks penned Abingdon into their own D and did all but score in the opening ten minutes.
However, with their first attack of the game, it was Abingdon who went ahead. A lucky deflection fell to the opposition in Hawks’ D and a simple nudge past Ben Pearce made it Hawks 0-1 Abingdon.
As has been customary this season, Hawks would have to fashion a comeback. Nick Lamb and Matt Oakes led the resurgence. After knocking on the door for much of the first half, Hawks equalised through Paul Scragg- his third in the last three games.
The conditions proved to test the quality of hockey on display during the latter stages of the first half. With tempers beginning to boil over, it was clear how much this game meant to all players. The next goal would be crucial. With a rasping Kieran Roche strike from one of Hawks’ many short corners during the first period, Hawks were 2-1 up at half time- the first time they had been in this position since the turn of the year.
There was no let up in the second half- Hawks were keen to build on their deserved lead. In a period of end-to-end hockey, Hawks stretched their lead through another Kieran Roche short corner. As the ball bellowed against Abingdon’s backboard, jubilant scenes ensued- Hawks could sense victory over their bitter rivals.
Abingdon gave as good as they got. Only minutes later, they won a short corner of their own. A series of deflections and hacks saw Abingdon roof the ball into Hawks’ net. However, Hawks would not be perturbed. The men in maroon sought to put this game to bed. The remainder of the second half saw Hawks stretch Abingdon, as chance after chance fell their way. After some intricate build-up play, Arthur Baldock rolled the ball across the face of goal to find Rich Tyser, who bagged a deserved first goal for the 4’s to settle this feud once and for all. The game finished 4-2 to Hawks.
Storm Dennis continued following the conclusion of this encounter. However, the sun shone brightly on Hawks as they marched off the top pitch having sealed a sweet victory.