Oxford Hawks made the very short journey down the Iffley Road to face Oxford University in their National League Conference West encounter. Hawks, keen to avoid a repeat of the 2-1 loss to the students a few weeks prior, didn't make the best of starts as the home side took the lead from their first attack. However their advantage didn't last long as Hawks went down the other end and won a penalty corner which was duly dispatched by Caro Harris. Hawks had the best of the first quarter with a number of good attacks, with Emily Smith coming closest from a strike from the top of the D. Bex Oakes was on commanding form at the back and cleaned up anything which the students threw at her, meaning Mille Lane in goal was relatively untroubled. The second quarter was a very different affair, where the students dominated and Hawks were not able to create many attacks of note. However Hawks defended exceptionally well and rode the storm, and were happy to get to half time with the score still 1-1.
In the third quarter Hawks took the driving seat back with Becca Edwards putting on a top class performance in the centre of midfield, and they took the lead after ten minutes. A good move down the left found Hannah Fallon driving down the wing, and her pinpoint cross found 15 year old Gemma Croker in the D. She calmly rounded the goalkeeper and smashed the ball against the backboard for her first National League goal - the first of many I am sure. In the final quarter as expected the University threw everything at Hawks, winning a number of early penalty corners. However again more superb defending and excellent game management meant the clock ran down to give Hawks the three points. They now build towards their game against 3rd place Exe this weekend.
Thanks to Evelyn Hargreaves for the great photos.