After the battle of Pound Lane during the October 2012 floods the U18 men and their faithful camp followers had assumed they could never be wetter at a hockey match. Well Sunday 10 February 2013, broke all previous records. Add to that temperatures barely above freezing and a picture of abject misery may have emerged. However, as ever the finest young men Oxford has yet produced rose to challenge, embraced the conditions and duly despatched Yateley HC. In the process the squad clinched the Divisional championship and can now look forward to a home draw in the play-offs.
Notwithstanding the blather above, the most impressive part of the day was the way in which the 4 debutants fitted seamlessly into the squad and make significant contributions. Barney, Dom and Mungo rose magnificently from the U16s to meet the higher challenge and new recruit Peter Honey looked a strong addition to the squad – capping a memorable debut with a goal and an assist.
Allowing for the conditions the Hawks never looked like losing to plucky Yateley team who stuck to their task and played their part in a competitive match. In patches Hawks played some of the best hockey of the season – swift passing and good movement created numerous chances which but for a fine performance of the Yateley keeper would have resulted in a very different score line. Freddie Webster had his best game for the U18s and James Gilbert worked tirelessly.
At the back the two Sean’s and Mungo dealt with anything thrown at them with Sean Maclachlan emerging with the MOM wreath from amongst a number of close challengers.
On the score sheet were Boddington, Honey, Rogers with two drag flicks, David Gilbert and Mahon but well done to all the team for securing the important win. Special thanks to Drew Blackburn for his enthusiastic and constructive coaching, Neil Boddington for great umpiring and the faithful band of followers who provided the all important support.
With a squad of 20 the selectors now face an interesting challenge to select the squad for the play offs!!