This was always going to be a hard game, but the Mens 5's team performance and effort meant that Oxford found it harder than Hawks.
It was good to welcome Christian Van Engers for his debut in a Hawks shirt, and he quickly settled in in midfield. For once, Hawks started well, and started moving the ball around with purpose. The Oxford attack was young and mobile, and quickly threatened with Archie Spittles making some telling clearances in goal. Karl Hack too, played a blinder at left back, making some crucial tackles.
But Hawks probably had more play in theor D in the first quarter, and a great cross by Ashley Robbins found Charles "Persie" Darby, returning after a skiing break, at the far post and somehow he managed to bundle the ball in 1-0 against a stunned Oxford.
The game continued at a fast pace, and Oxford started to get some more of the ball, but the Hawks defence was well organised, and all the team covered really well, it was an unfortunate touch from the excellent Johnny Florey -covering back that beat Archie's dive to his right. 1-1.
Half time, and the Hawks team certainly looked happier than the Oxford team.
The second half saw performances from everyone, Ashley Robbins was as ever, full of running, but Scraggy was an inspiration back in his old stamping ground. He even managed to get on the scoresheet to make it 2-1. Oxford then came at Hawks again, and forced a second goal to bring it back to level. But the game was end to end, and Charles Persie was on goal before being brought down by the opposition centre back, the level of difficulty was high, and the number of somersault turms was adjudged to be 10 in the bar afterwards. The resulting yellow card helped relieve the pressure for the Hawks team, and made them dangerous on the break. Mark Shirley had his best game (for a decade?) and his work alongside the continually improving Robbie Scragg made a difference. We were again blessed with Andy Sumser's presence, and he played with bite in the midfield, combining well with Scragg, Van Engers and Robbins.
Hawks continued to harass the Oxford team, and when Hawks got the ball, they played excellent hockey, which culminated in some pressure on the Oxford defence, and Richard Venables put away the short after a flick had been missed by the otherwise excellent Oxford umpires.
3-2 and the spirit of the Hawks team was irrepressable. With more saves from Archie, and Chair Higgins growing in stature at the back, Hawks saw the game out to make it 5 wins in the last 6 games.
Man of the match Scraggy with a creditable mention for Karl Hack.