The Men's 7s squad is yet to find stability due to player availability and general sorting of players in other teams. Saturday morning saw only 5 players from last week's squad on the team sheet with Will Harrington coming in as GK and also welcoming Sri Viswanatha for his debut at Hawks and a first time appearance from Sam Volans. We started with a bare 11 whislt Elliott struggled through the A40 traffic whilst Bicester 3s turned with a full squad of 16 with many old faces and a sprinkling of youth. Jacqs and Hugh B kindly umpiring.
Hawks started well and put Bicester under early pressure. A drive towards the D by Venables resulted in a near deflection opportunity for streching McGrigor. Bicester absorbed this well and started to pass the ball around and started to look dangerous on the break. Some lapse defending saw Bicester take the ball into the D with some sharp stick work and a well struck reverse which Will had no chance of saving. Bicester continued to advance with some good keeping by Will and eventually Hawks broke back with some nice interplay in middle of the field between Sam Vokans, Andy Graham and Venables resulting in a number of short corners going our way. The second saw Venables strike hard to the left of the keeper to equalise. The latter part of the first half saw Hawks struggle to get out of their half with some good pressing by Bicester and not enough movement from Hawks at 16 hits.
1-1 felt a fair score at half time and we set to try and redress our defensive hit outs.
The second half saw Bicester push forward again and get rewarded with a couple of short corners. Hawks were caught off guard with a simple passing move which put Bicester 1-2 up. The rest of the game saw Hawks press hard but we just couldn't capitalise from several short corners and a number of shooting opportunities in the D. We all agreed we had much more time and were rushing in our eagerness to pull the score back. The final play of the match saw Bicester break 2 on 1 and a clear shooting opportunity that was only denied by the accurate time keeping from Hugh B.
The unbeaten run had to come to an end sometime and perhaps with a larger and more settled squad we might have secured a draw. The result reflects Bicester's ability to take their chances when Hawks didn't.
Thanks to Jacqs and Hugh for umpiring an overall enjoyable game.