After hearing the exciting news that we had a full team for our away match at Eastcote, the down-side was that we had no umpire. It was a busy weekend at Hawks with several of our potential team mates and several more potential umpires being involved with the hugely successful Junior Festival on Sunday. Despite Evelyn’s incessant and shameless pleading with ANYONE who would be pestered (and others who rather they weren’t) during the Ladies’ 1s match on Saturday evening no-one was able to help…until husband Phil was asked. He was given SOME choice…
After some quick introductions on arrival at Eastcote, and a good warm-up, the first whistle blew. We very soon realised that our opponents meant business so we were put under pressure very quickly. Their forwards gave our defensive team the run around and one made the most of a small breakdown in communication and slipped through un-marked to beat an on-coming Evelyn to score, with both Vicky Easton and Phil Williams in hot pursuit!
After this, we seemed to settle, using Marianne Bint and Mel Thurley who were in ‘acres of space’ on the right of the pitch. Rebecca Black and Sarah Dawson patrolled the ‘D’ at the attacking end and the game began to ‘stretch’.
At one point, Marianne effortlessly swept aside 3 defenders and her fellow Eagles were there to support. The Eastcote keeper was tested on numerous occasions but was an effective shot-stopper. We continued to grow in confidence and our efforts were rewarded a few minutes from half time.
In what could easily have been compared to a set piece from the coaching manual, Vicky received the ball on the defensive 25, looked up, played a pin-point accurate pass diagonally across the pitch to Emma who laid it off to Rebecca to slot in behind the keeper.
We successfully defended a series of short corners despite Evelyn apparently being too vocal and the umpire having a quiet word -“Only one ‘Ready?’ please Goalkeeper.” Emma admitted that she had also been responsible. We were able to laugh it off (out of his earshot) but all agreed that we’d heard far worse in recent games….
A half-time rest was called for and then it was back to work. There were chances at each end with one Eagles shot pinging off the post and others rolling just wide. Both Phil and Vicky ventured far up the pitch on occasion, causing slight panic behind them, but Mel and Heather were there to cover. Susan and Caroline remained steady in defence and we kept the oppo at bay, and those few balls that crossed in front of the Eagles’ goal during the final few minutes were “well left” by the defence…
The final whistle heralded a well-fought draw maintaining the Golden Eagles’ unbeaten record!
A FANTASTIC performance from a great bunch of ladies and a very enjoyable match.
Caroline Baggs, Marianne Bint, Rebecca Black, Sarah Dawson, Vicky Easton, Emma Forrester, Evelyn Hargraves, Susan McErlain, Heather Miller, Mel Thurley, Phil Williams.
Man of the match – Vicky Easton
At time of going to press, the Golden Eagles are TOP of their league,