As the team assembled, there were worried looks and murmurs at the look of the Newbury team who although tight in numbers all looked around 20 and in reasonable shape.
Hawks on the other hand, had a large squad full of "older" players, with the added sparkle of some very much "younger" players. Luckily, sicknote skipper had shown up this time to orchestrate the bench, and the fresh (!) revolving subs proved to be the difference in the teams.
Off we went, and the game was finely balanced form the word go. Newbury took first blood
possibly against the run of play and then Hawks rallied hard to get back, with an inspired piece of subbing, Adam Bentley came on to run through the heart of the Newbury defence so that Ashley Robins could get Hawks back on level terms. With Fergus Flanagan in fine form in the HAwks goal it was a surprise when Newbury squeezed back into the lead.
Hawks then had some excellent possession only for it to be squandered outside the D.
Karl Hack was so inspired by Dunner's training routines that he tried to replicate them through 6 Newbury defenders, something that made some players slightly scraggy....
However, the effort and commitment was all there, and once HAwks pushed the ball around a bit more, the deserved reward came with a well taken chest high hit into the Newbury goal by Mike Image.
Half time was a positive experience, and another well fought half of hockey culminated in
a panting Mark Shirley flinging his lithe body at the goal and scoring the winning goal.
Man of the match - the tireless Ashley Robins, ably supported though by the other midfielders (Image, Bowden and Scraggy).
Great game to watch, thanks to umpires Dave and Geoff.