Oxford Hawks 7-2 Yateley
It seems that Ladies Masters hockey can only be played in scorching conditions! Sunday 2nd June shaped up to be another hot day as the YHC Ladies Masters team took a road trip to Oxford Hawks for the next round of the O30s cup. With Oxford Hawks Ladies 1s sitting in the National League Conference West and their 2s in South we knew this was going to be a tough one, but with true YHC fighting spirit we set up in our usual formation with a few changes in personnel from our previous match.
The game was played at, quite frankly, a ridiculously fast pace with Oxford Hawks turning over the ball with style and catching YHC on the back foot. They scored twice in quick succession and it seemed to take a while for YHC to find their feet. From then on YHC started playing some great hockey. Carole, Hils, Gemma, Foley and Jen worked tirelessly in defence to thwart the continued Hawks attacks. Nikki was certainly kept busy and made some great saves. Unfortunately Hawks were able to get another goal just before half-time. 3-0.
Some great positivity at half-time, some sweets and a slight change in formation meant we came out fighting for the second half. Alana made some great attacking runs supported by Ruth, Gibbo, Lynn, Janette and Emma and eventually this attacking play resulted in a PC. Gemma took the strike from the top of the D and the ball went in off a Hawks foot for our first goal. For a while this seemed to unsettle Hawks and allowed Yateley to keep pressing. The pace of Hawks 'much nearer the age 30s' team, combined with some National League ability to pick the ball off the end of a stick without us even realising, meant they fought back with another 2 well worked goals. 5-1.
The best thing about this YHC Masters Team is the ability to keep playing to our strengths and always believing we have another goal in us. Some great communication and setting a high press around a Hawks hit-out, meant Janette intercepted the ball on top of the D and in spectacular fashion took a perfect strike, from the top, into the bottom corner. 5-2.
Unfortunately for YHC, Hawks scored a further 2 goals as tired legs showed. BUT the ladies fought until the very end with Hils appearing from RH to win a corner in the last minute of the game. We were unable to convert this and the game finished 7-2. The score line was disappointing as YHC played some great hockey but against opposition from many leagues higher it was a score-line to be proud of. Our cup run is finished and (I think) the season is finally over but there is definitely more to come from these Ladies next season.