Hatch End Hawks lacrosse team opened their ladies’ 2014/15 season with a double-header at their Cow Roast home pitch on Sunday.
They welcomed five new players, and enjoyed the warm September sun and a pitch in top condition – as well as two spectacular wins.
The Hawks Premiership team started the new season with an impressive victory against Clapham.
Despite a slightly shaky start, with Clapham claiming the first goal, the Hawks team soon settled down and took control of the game.
Some fine defensive turnovers and excellent saves from goalkeeper Nat Balfe gave Hawks the upper hand as they took full advantage of possession, playing the ball well down the pitch and fully capitalising on goalscoring opportunities.
This gave the team a comfortable 9-2 lead at half-time.
Clapham scored a couple of quick goals from fast breaks early in the second half, but the Hawks responded quickly with some great draws from Tiff Lake in the centre, which Lara Owen transferred safely into the attacking half – where players settled until the right scoring opportunity came along.
A solid defence and determined midfield play ensured that Hawks dominated the second half – resulting in a final score of 16-5 with Owen claiming a spectacular seven goals.
Hawks were in total control and never looked in danger of anything less than a convincing win.
Captain Becky Singleton was delighted with her team’s performance, saying: “It is amazing to have so many different goalscorers today, everyone played really well – a great start to the season.”
Meanwhile, Hawks II blended youth with experience by fielding a side which included seven of their U13/U14 players to face Reading – last season’s Division One champions.
The Hawks took an early lead against an experienced and well organised defence, and worked hard to create opportunities. Hawks delighted supporters with a fluid display of movement and passing, combined with solid defence.
With 10 minutes to go, Hawks held a slender lead of 5-4. Tactics focused on keeping possession of the ball and only taking shots when there was a clear goalscoring opportunity.
This paid dividends and Hawks came away as 7-4 winners.
Hawks II captain Maggie Hughes said: “It was a great team performance today, from a team that has not played together before.
“Our young players in particular showed great maturity to keep possession of the ball and seal the win at the end.”