Ladies’ O55s draw then win on flicks
Published on 22nd Feb, 2023
It was the inaugural match for the Hawks O55 ladies. An intrepid squad made up from Hawks, Oxford and Witney players gathered in the changing room and there was a buzz of enthusiastic conversation. Chat paused we headed out for the game facing a strong looking and very orange St Albans side.
It was St Albans who started strongly and put the Hawks defence under pressure, but once the ball had broken away into their attacking half a short corner was won and it was only 6 mins into the game when Sally Hartwell converted the short corner. Despite calls of a ‘big five’ it was St Albans who picked up their game and equalised in the 9th minute.
So it was starting to look like it would be a close and high scoring game. There were defensive heroics from Katie saving a high shot on the line and some brave keeping from Linda before Hawks again built an effective attack and won another corner. Sally again scored from a hard straight strike.
In the lead for the second time Hawks needed to settle, however St Albans countered swiftly scoring their second less than a minute later.
Both teams then tightened defences and an end-to-end game ensued. Hawks players were skillfully managed by Jacs and the score stayed 2-2 till half time.
Talk was of increasing connections and communication, marking tighter and maintaining the effort. All improved in the second half however despite chances at both ends there was no further score, and the game went to flicks.
The fantastic five and Linda stepped forward. It was 2-2 after the first barrage of 5 and so to sudden death. St Albans first attempt was saved by Linda and then a cool Sue Clark scored to take the win.
Particular mention must be made of the exceptional commitment from Susan who played her third game of the weekend, travelling from an away game in Henley to make her valuable contribution; to Angie for picking up a hockey stick again instead of a netball; Katie Smith for overcoming her aversion to the Hawks shirt and winning POM for an outstanding game at the back; to Sally for her two well taken goals; Linda for keeping us in the game, saving flicks as well as taking her kit off to step up to take one; Sue for staying on to score the winning flick despite it being Andy’s birthday. And to everyone who played in unusual positions and worked so hard for their teammates.
Thank you to both umpires and to St Albans for making it such an exciting and enjoyable afternoon of hockey.
Bring on the next round.