It was a blue sky and sunshine day and the Hawks L6's were hungry for a win after the previous two weeks. Captain Phil had warned us all not to be late for the warm up which was to be organised by Holly. The team started to arrive, however a WhatsApp message from Phil and Bella arrived. Phil was going to be late (and we would tease her relentlessly for this) she got stuck in a queue when buying the fizzy Haribo sweets for half time; stuck behind someone panic buying dog food. (Maybe we would forgive her after all?) Bella was going to be late as Barney still had an upset tummy and she had to clear poo up. Our team mascots are Purdy's Harry and Bella's Barney, but Barney was staying at home for obvious reasons. We were given the main pitch, the showground as we like to call it, and to our surprise when we arrived we had an army of supporters already waiting for us .
Our incredible L1's were there and offered us their sound system so that we could play pre match music. So the warm up started, very well organised by Holly with motivation from the Rocky theme, Don't stop me now and the Eye of the Tiger.
As we warmed up we noticed more supporters arriving, and it looked like some of the GB Ladies team and someone who looked very much like Ed Sheeran. Could it be?? Deliberately hitting a ball over that way Yas went to retrieve it and investigate. It was indeed Ed, who had come back to Hawks as he enjoyed Jan's teas so much! Also Ed very kindly said he was paying our match fees, wooohoooo. Excitement grew in the L6's squad. Captain Phil reminded us to stay focussed as the Captains were asked to go in for the toss to see who gets first push back.
Hawks won! Great start.
The opposition came out strong, taking Hawks by surprise. This was not the same team that we had encountered first time around. They were feisty and had some fast juniors. After an appeal for calm from Jan, we settled and concentrated on short accurate passes as per Tam's instructions at training. We swiftly moved the ball through midfield up to Lotty, a tackle with back of stick resulted in us being awarded a short corner. A beautiful straight strike from Lotty resulted in our first goal after only a few minutes.
The opposition, a little flustered, tried to rally, but Hawks had got into the game and were dominating play. It wasn't long before we were back in our attacking D. Lotty drove into a rather congested D, Linda at top D was shouting for the back pass. On receiving the ball, a lovely strike from Linda gave us our second goal. The opposition looked a little stunned but after some stern talk from their Captain they came back at us.
Phil and Jan double teamed their most dangerous forward, and were under constant pressure for the next 5 minutes. With instructions from Purdy, Jan, Phil, Holly and Yas kept all shots out, but we realised that we could not become complacent. Another attack from their fast forwards resulted in a one on one against Purdy who had to leap into the far right corner of the goal to save a lifted strike on the reverse stick. Whoops went up from the L6's and a roar from the supporters. A cracking save from our cracking keeper. They pressed hard and an intercepted hit out resulted in another attack. Purdy, now fired up, charged out to the attacker, but the ball was slipped through her legs, luckily Jan was backing her up and made a spectacular goal line save. The ball was passed out to Yas who stormed down the right wing, and made an excellent strong pass into Buffy this time. Few of the opposition were back and Buffy drove hard into the D and found herself in a one on one with the keeper. The keeper went down in an effort to stop the strike and Buffy pulled the ball back to lift it over the keeper and scored an impressive 3D goal.
The umpires indicated 2 minutes til half time, as we wondered if we could get another goal in before the break. A lovely interception and run through midfield from Holly to Bella gave Bella a chance to score. Bella took a shot from the P spot and the keeper went down to save it. Lotty picked up the cleared ball at top D and an amazing drag flick into the far right corner of goal gave her her second goal. (Could she get a hat trick and also keep league top scorer position??) Half time whistle was blown.
As the fizzy Haribo were passed around, Phil gave us a motivational team talk. Although we were 4 goals up she reiterated the importance of communication and the short, accurate passes. We had the upper hand but the opposition could be dangerous on the break and we needed to stay focussed. Phil asked for 100% effort from all.
The whistle was blown, and the opposition drove forward from their push back. They too had obviously had a motivational talk from their captain and the game was not over yet. They attacked in a skilful set move, taking us by surprise and despite great channelling from Holly the ball was crossed at a tricky angle into our D. This time it was Phil who saved it on the goal line as it was almost on the line inside the post. Great save Captain. Yas picked up the stray ball and with another lovely run, crossed the ball into Lizzie. Lizzie made a beautiful weaving run up 1/3 of the pitch avoiding tackle after tackle. Being pushed out to the left of their goal by their defender Lizzie had no option but to go for the reverse stick strike. She hit the ball perfectly and it was lifted into the top right corner of their goal, missing the keepers hand pad by a centimetre.
The opposition pressed hard on our hit outs but we transferred well and kept them running around in the hope that they would tire. The next 10 minutes were a ping pong between Hawks and the opposition midfield. Bella, Solveig, Lizzie, Buffy, Yas and Holly worked tirelessly to keep the ball away from our defence and try to get it up to our attackers, but it was stalemate. At last they managed to get the ball up to Linda with Lotty in support. Linda crossed the ball in and an unbelievable reverse stick connection from Lotty secured her hat trick! With renewed enthusiasm Hawks increased the intensity causing the opposition to drop their heads. They were beginning to look exhausted. Their captain however was fired up and wasn't going to give up without a fight. Bella had a great run towards the defence and although tackled on 3 occasions, she managed to come out with the ball in a tenacious battle. She was on a mission and our gentle Bella was not to be messed with as she drove into the D and skilfully and calmly dribbled past the keeper to slip the ball into goal behind her.
A last push from the opposition put our defence under pressure again and although we were tiring the adrenalin kept us going. The last 2 minutes was indicated and we were determined not to concede a goal. The ball was once again transferred up to our attackers and Linda found a foot in the D just as the final whistle was blown. A short corner was awarded and all of the Hawks team gathered at the D. The umpires were conferring and the short corner decision was overturned and we were awarded a penalty flick due to a cynical foul in the D spotted by the other umpire. To everyone's surprise Jan stepped up to take the PF. The whistle blew and Jan calmly flicked the ball high and right into the top corner of the net. The smiler of the team gets the goal and the whole team almost knock her off her feet in a massive celebration bundle. 8-0! The spectators went crazy. We all went for a warm down jog and a sneaky look at Ed.
Everyone enjoyed their favourite teas of veggie Dahl and Bella's amazing Rice Krispie chocolate cakes and Phil's yummy raspberry and white chocolate muffins. MOM votes were put in and there were votes for so many, showing that we had all put in a great effort. However it was Buffy who was voted MOM for her tireless effort at Centre half, controlling the game and redistributing the ball up to our attack. Ed came into the clubhouse and we all got very giggly and star struck. To our amazement he started singing 'Perfect' to us, as he said we had the Perfect match. We all joined in and sang with him. What a virtual-ly perfect match and perfect team.