The Ladies 1s opened their National League campaign at Bristol Firebrands, and got off to a very promising start, dominating the opening encounters. Keely Perham came close early on hitting the upright, and a few other attacks were thwarted by some good saves. However after ten minutes Gemma Taylor opened the scoring with a well taken finish from a penalty corner. In the second quarter Firebrands levelled early on also from a corner, but a few minutes later Sandra Roche, 9 years on from her last appearance for Hawks 1s, smashed home from a corner to make it 2-1. Jess Madden-Waite was on outstanding form throughout, earning herself much deserved Player of the Match, with some outstanding tackles and composure on the ball.
The third quarter was where the game changed - Firebrands constant use of aerials caused problems for the Hawks defence, and they threatened a number of times. They levelled again, once more from a penalty corner straight strike, and then they took the lead for the first time in the game with a break down the right, when the cross was well finished first time by the onrushing centre forward.
In the final quarter, Hawks threw everything forwards, and created a lot of chances. There was some good build up play down the left from Henri Gordon and Sandra, which ended with Henri shovelling the ball past the keeper from close range to level. However with just a minute left on the clock Firebrands had a free hit outside the area and managed to fire in a ball for a deflection at the far post. Time ran down to leave the girls gutted with the result, but very encouraged by some outstanding periods of play. Next week they face Basingstoke at home, 12noon - supporters very welcome!