Ladies 2s Beaten by Oxford Hawks
By Surbiton HC
Ladies 2s 1 - 5 Oxford Hawks L1
Surbiton Ladies 2s had a tough outing against Oxford Hawks L1 in miserable conditions at Sugden Road on Saturday.
The 5-1 defeat was arguably relatively flattering to the visitors with a couple of late goals adding gloss to the final score, but the L2 were largely punished for a failure to capitalise on several decent chances as well as some clinical attacking play from Hawks.
An unfortunate combination of unavailability and a lack of common sense in England Hockey's league registration rules meant that no regular goalkeeper was able to play and so Beckie Middleton stepped into the goal for the L2.
Mary Klugman was excellent in central defence, with Maud Blokland and Fran Rowley also making some timely interceptions and tackles to limit Hawks’ early forays into the Surbiton circle.
After a goalless first quarter, Hawks’ first goal came from a corner rebound, with Claire Werlinger deflecting home a backhand cross.
Hannah Denison hit back for Surbiton three minutes later, ripping a shot into the roof of the net with a sharp half volley when the ball popped up at the top of a crowded circle.
Some good scramble defence in the third quarter was unfortunately not matched with the same fluency and patience in attack as Surbiton had shown earlier in the game. Hawks scored two further deflections in quick succession through Samantha Jacobs and Caro Harris - one from a corner, one from open play - and the game began to fall away from Surbiton.
Surbiton played with eleven outfielders for the final ten minutes of the game In an attempt to claw back a goal. Despite some brave defending, Hawks scored two further ‘open’ goals from Werlinger and Bex Oakes to make it a resounding 5-1 result.
A frustrating game for the L2. While some promising play was on show at times, the solid basics, corner threat and tactical nous of a strong Oxford Hawks side proved too good on the day. Having lost 3-2 in the away fixture against Hawks, the game emphasised that despite leading the table by four points, there’s still work to do if the L2 are to secure top spot.