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M1's Lose Boat Race but Take Three Points

02 October 2021, 17:00, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 1s 2 - 0 Old Cranleighans Men's 1s

In rain that made for very challenging playing conditions, the M1's overcame Old Cranleighans by 2-0 on Saturday.  Hawks started brightly enough but it was the Surrey side that forced the first penalty corner in the 8th minute.  In what was to become a feature of the game, OC's failed to convert when Ed Ellis expertly cleared off the line.  In a game that ebbed and flowed, Hawks took the lead in the 16th minute when the visitors turned the ball over just outside their own circle, the ball breaking to Archie Winter who finished with a fierce shot from the top of the circle. OC's countered with a series of penalty corners but failed to execute with any real precision.  When they did get their routine right, Ed Ellis wore one on the forearm, limiting his involvement in the game, Jack Biggs saved one on the line and they also found Chris Price in the Hawks goal in fine form.  Hawks didn't win their fist penalty corner until the 32nd minute following good approach work between Winter and Ted Bennett, but Biggs' effort was charged down.  The pattern of the game in the second half followed the same as the first, with first one side and then the other gaining the upper hand.  Hawks forced a further penalty corner eight minutes into the half.  The first attempt was well saved but led to another corner award.  This time a slip move at the top of the circle cleared the way for Biggs's shot to be deflected home by Matt Wilson and give Hawks a little breathing space.  The visitors continued to press and to win penalty corners, but the Hawks rearguard was in resolute form and Price continued to make excellent saves.  The conditions continued to make things difficult and Hawks were not helped by injuries to Kiran Patel, Drew Blackburn and Ed Ellis meaning that they played the last twenty minutes of the game three men down.  So a good win if not a vintage performance.  Some encouraging signs that certain aspects of play are starting to click, but still much to work on.  The long trip to Canterbury looms next Sunday.

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