Frustrating Weekend for West London Eagles in Clash with NEM Hawks
Monday 31 October 2016 19:58
West London Eagles Men I vs NEM Hawks
In the opening game the men started slowly but soon found their rhythm, trading early blows against a determinedly fast-paced Hawks team.
Lucas Carstens inflicted much of the early damage from left-back, which was soon followed by Romualdas Sakovičius adding several of his nine goals on fast-breaks. Towards the end of the half Eagles led by three, and looked good to extend the lead, before they were hit of a sign of things to come. Two suspensions within two minutes for Mike Hinchliffe and Joachim Ernst took the pace off Eagles’ attack and allowed Hawks to pull one back before the break, ending the half 17-15 to West London.
The second half started poorly with Eagles losing their way entirely; Hawks made a swing of five goals within almost as many minutes. A two-minute suspension for Sakovičius compounded their troubles before a red card was shown to goalkeeper Alex Pechlivanis who, on 38 minutes, during a moment of frustration inexplicably knocked the goal to the floor. Without a substitute keeper, left-wing Gilbert Lewis was placed in goal but it meant that West London had little hope of scraping any meaningful result from the game. This prediction was soon confirmed as Eagles further self-destructed seeing four more two minute suspensions handed out over the next 15 minutes, one of which included a red card for Hinchliffe.
The final score was 37-44 to Hawks with the only meaningful positive of the game for the Eagles being the number of goals they’d scored.
West London Eagles Women vs NEM Hawks
The Eagles women’s team had a full roster of 16 confident players for their third game of the season against a Hawks team who had lost their opening game of the season.
Early on the teams went goal-for-goal, however the depth of the Eagles squad began to show mid-way through the first half with Anne Holm Roppen at centre-back and Johanna Delsante from right-wing leading the scoring through the first half. It could have been a more comfortable lead for the Eagles had top-scorer Sunniva Øvstebø Næss not been side-lined early on with a bloody nose following a stray arm from Hawks right-back Nicola Quick. Towards the end of the half the Hawks’ fast, counter-attacking style of play began to drag them back into the game eventually pulling themselves back to 14-13 at half-time.
In the second half the Eagles were back into the game immediately. Four more goals from Øvstebø Næss and two from Kristyna Littman on left-wing saw West London leading 22-18 at one point. However, a resolute Hawks team refused to accept defeat. Led by left-wing Ellie Whitehead they clawed themselves back into the game, taking the Eagles very much by surprise. Unable to find their rhythm again Hawks closed to within one goal with just one minute left on the clock. In the closing seconds Eagles regained possession following a rebound off the Hawks crossbar only to be penalised for passive play almost immediately. In the resulting turnover May-Hilde Akselsen saw the ball roll away from her, which although accidental, was penalised by the referees with a penalty throw for Hawks and a red card.
Despite a brilliant save of the penalty by keeper Elisabeth Heyerdahl-Larsen, Whitehead put away the rebound. With just seven seconds left Eagles could not find the winner, the final result a frustrating 26-26 draw.