When we arrived at St.Edward's school our opposition were already warming up on pitch. A large squad of young and very fit looking girls were engaged in a structured warm up with their trainer.They even had team water bottles in a carrier! Rumour had it that a number of them were County players. We were just a little bit intimidated, but as usual, vowed to try our very best and enjoy ourselves!
Hawks started strongly and soon gained confidence as we dominated the early part of the match having most of the possession. With a core of our players being regular Ladies 6's we we're starting to gel as a team, and so our positioning and support play was much improved. However,a new player to our team Sarah,slotted in perfectly,and brought great strength and skill to our defence. Although, she often found herself much further up the pitch she still managed to get back and keep the back line safe.
Olivia really shone as an inner, her work rate was immense and that, coupled with her great skill and tenacity, helped us to win back possession time and time again. Great support play in the midfield by Mel, Becky, Megan and Deborah ensured that our forwards had many opportunities on goal. If you give Mary an opportunity,a score usually follows,and so it did,quite early in the game.Another signature,cracking strike hit the back board.I think ,from a short corner. We were 1-0 up.
Confidence rising ,we started to relax a bit ,and thanks ,possibly to the oppositions relative inexperience,we were allowed a bit more time on the ball which resulted in more accurate passing. Our midfield players tackled brilliantly and often intercepted ball allowing our forwards to put on more pressure. Clare's speed and skill on the right and Pam's lovely crosses in to the D, made us feel that another score wouldn't be far away. Another new player Ailis, was a great asset to the team, quiet but confident, and always where we needed her to be. Bringing the ball into attack on many occasions. Linda always brings a calming influence, great experience and not forgetting, a powerful strike, to our game. However, it was the multi-talented Megan who scored the second goal for Hawks. Megan covered so much ground, helping our defence, driving through midfield, but suddenly found herself in a position to score. Great team work from our forwards, but the final touch was from Megan.We were 2-0 up at half time.
The heavens opened during our team talk, followed by a beautiful rainbow,as the second half began.
Bicester came back out stronger than before and determined to fight back,putting our defenders under pressure. Deborah had now moved position back into defence. Reliable and unflappable ,she cleared countless balls away from danger. Jan has continued to improve, and made some good clearances and before long we were back on the attack.
Becky shone in a new position for her at right half,and worked well with Sarah to keep channelling the ball into attack. Mel was a star,solid in the midfield,intercepting many balls to feed up to Olivia,eagerly waiting. Purdy was thankfully having a relatively relaxing game this week, compared to our previous matches, but was so helpful in giving our less experienced defenders guidance .But still,Bicester were able to put on the pressure and soon they scored. Much to the delight of their captain who had scored her first ever goal.You couldn't help but be pleased for her,but.........we decided to respond! 2-1 was not as comfortable a lead as we would like and so we upped our game and great team work by all saw us dominating the play. Our talented and determined midfielders and forwards put their novice keeper under pressure but she did extremely well and defended countless attacks. However the Hawks attack was relentless and before long,with only minutes to go Pam scored her first goal in,and I quote,"too many years to mention!" The final whistle blew,we had won! Our first ever win,thanks to an overall great team performance,and victory dances were a plenty! 3-1
Man of the match went to Olivia for her tireless efforts and great skill. Runners up were,Jan, Claire and Sarah.Thanks to David Cooke for umpiring and James Hathaway for taking the photos and Lisa Scragg for finding us players at the last minute.