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Surprise defeat for frustrated Ladies 4s side

15 February 2014, 10:30, Banbury Road North (Near)

Ladies' 4s 0 - 1 Oxford Ladies 5s

After a stormy night the winds showed no sign of abating as the Ladies 4s took to the pitch for their 10:30am match against local rivals Oxford.  Hawks started out strong, playing some great passing hockey and putting a lot of pressure on Oxford.  We had some great runs and 1-2s up the right, we had some passing play through the middle, we even used the left a bit.  We had loads of pressure around Oxfords ‘D’, multiple crosses, leading runs and 10+ short corners – but Oxford had a fantastic goalie and we failed to find the back of the net.  We tried everything, Sophie T even tried head-butting the opposition, but to no avail.

Our half time talk was very positive, and as the rain started and the wind threatened to blow the dugouts off the pitchside, Hawks returned to the pitch with the hope that if they kept up the pressure the goals would come.  Hawks started strong again but as the wind continued to blow, the team couldn’t really hear each other and our passes struggled to find a hawk stick.  Oxford had much more of the play in the second half driving up both sides of the pitch, but we defended solidly and Megan made some excellent saves.  Hawks still had some good breaks and a number of short corners, including one from Lizzie that looked a winner but just managed to clip the post and bounce back out.  There were lots of rebounds off the keeper but Oxford were very good at getting to the ball and clearing it.  Oxford got another break and as the ball came loose in our 23’, both Catherine and Phil called it, but failing to hear each other collided enabling Oxford to pounce and the resulting well placed strike found the back of the net.  Oxford 1; Hawks 0.

 The rest of the match played out and despite a real determination to score, a frustrated Hawks side were unable to come up with the goods.  Final score 1-0 to a very jubilant Oxford side.

 We worked very hard and should be proud of the effort we put in.  Sophie T battled hard and was a deserved MOM.  Aoife had a great game, and stepped up to pull out at the corners, picking up 2 MOM votes for her efforts.

 Many thanks to Rory Bowden and Rachel Bellamy for umpiring.  Rachel very kindly stepped into the breach to replace Adrian Higgins who was stuck on the M40 due to a fallen tree.

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