With blue skies and sunshine over BRN for a change, the Ladies 4s had been warned that we might be facing a very different Oxford Uni side from the one that we had victory over at the start of their season! No sooner had the first whistle blown it was obvious that Hawks were facing a youthful and fit Uni squad who were not in any way hungover and were more than ready to get to any loose balls ahead of a Hawks’ player. Both sides started the game moving the ball around quickly across the whole pitch and Oxford Uni were denied any early scoring opportunities by some good solid Hawks defending, notably from Becky and GK Megan.
At the attacking end Lizzie, Sophies B and D, and Sandra upfront were creating great chances but alas no goal was forthcoming. Then, with just a couple of minutes to go before the half-time whistle was blown, Oxford Uni got the lucky break when, from a side-line hit, the ball was sent in across the D and into the goal under a diving Megan, leaving them to go into the break 1 goal up.
Catherine’s half-time team talk stressed that we had been playing some great hockey moving the ball from Vicky/Jane/Katherine at the back through the midfield of Emma, Sophie T and Nicky and up to the forward line. We had been unlucky not to get the ball into the goal on a number of occasions and that in the second half we would be playing with the sun behind us so finding our players should become easier.
The second half started with the same level of intensity and both sides had chances to score but it was Oxford Uni who had the luck when following a short corner strike the ball was stopped by Phil’s foot on the line and a penalty stroke awarded. Megan moved the right way as the flick was taken but alas the ball passed by her outreached arm and the Uni were 2-0 up. With Jane (now retired hurt) encouraging all Hawks attacks from the side-line the forward line were spurred on and a fine cross from Sandra soon found Lizzie’s stick and at last Hawks were on the scoresheet. Oxford Uni’s determination not to let another goal in was sadly very effective and as in the first half just minutes before the final whistle went confusion in the D resulted in Oxford Uni’s getting their 3rd and final goal. Hawks Ladies 4s may have lost their first game of the season but at least they had Sophie T’s very tasty chocolate gluten/dairy-free cake to enjoy in the clubhouse after the game!
Becky Brodie was voted MOM for her great defensive performance.
We'll be cheering Oxford Uni on next week when they, hopefully, take 3 points from Sonning!