Ladies’ 1s beat Bristol beautifully
Published on 14th Nov, 2022
After a 5-0 win and fireworks on and off the pitch at Reading last week, Hawks were keen to build on their run of successful performances against Bristol Firebrands. Hawks found themselves 1-0 up within the first 2 minutes after Takara Haines' (finally back in a maroon shirt) drag on a penalty corner was deflected into the goal by a Firebrand’s defender.
Hawks settled into the game and began to do what they do best, playing slick and fast passing hockey. At the end of Q1, Hawks extended their lead after turning over the ball in Firebrands defensive half, with Gemma Croker putting away the rebound of Lexi Spurr’s shot.
Firebrands began to make their presence known and grew into the game putting the Hawks defense under pressure. Claire 'Caruthless' Caruth proved just how ruthless a player she is, stopping a shot on goal after a good attack from Firebrands but taking a hit to the head in the process and having to leave the pitch. After the injury break, Firebrands took advantage of the change in momentum and closed the gap after a well struck short corner at the end of the first half. Before half time, Hawks responded well with a dangerous drive down the right by Lexi Spurr who finished with a reverse stick shot at goal, unfortunately disallowed by the umpire who deemed it to be back of stick.
Hawks knew what they needed to do and came out in the second half controlling play and passing the Bristol based team off the pitch. After pressing the opposition defence well and forcing a mistake, Cita joined her sister on the scoreboard with a punishing reverse stick strike. Hawks couldn't enjoy their extended lead for long when Firebrands capitalised on a quick break and lapse in concentration from the Hawks defence, with an unmarked player on the post deflecting in a well-executed cross.
The score now 3-2, things could have got nervy for Hawks, but Player of the Match Kara took control and helped Hawks to settle again, and the team returned to the fast-passing hockey that had seen them take the lead, not letting Firebrands get a look in. However, another injury soon followed, this time with young Crokes falling and hitting her head after running at such a speed, we can only assume she was trying to get her running stats up for Kim's post-match analysis.
Now having lost two players to head injuries, Hawks were determined to put the game to bed and Reaney, on fine form throughout the match, picked up the ball on the edge of the D and fired the ball across the goal, finding Smithers who used her expert hand eye coordination to pick the ball mid-air and first time it into the net in the dying minutes of the match.
Hawks look forward to their road trip to Wales next Saturday, where they face Penarth in what will be a huge game for both sides.
Thanks to Clive Jones for the excellent photos.