5th December 2016
Hawks returned from the Capital with maximum points after beating defending champions London GD in a 30-29 thriller.
A young Hawks team, averaging just over 19-years-of-age raced into a 6-1 lead – squandering other opportunities to extend their advantage.
GD changed tactics from an offensive defence to a much more passive 6-0 defence. This seemed to limit Hawks open expansive game, as GD got back into the contest with the scores 12-12 at the break.
The second half saw the teams match each other goal-for-goal until Hawks switched Jamal Braithwaite from right wing to right back with stunning results. He combined well with Stefan Whaley on several occasions as Hawks opened up a four-goal lead with four minutes remaining.
However, GD showed their experience and resolve and reduced Hawks' advantage back to one goal.
In a nail-biting finish Hawks had a chance to put the match to bed. Ryan Goodwin’s inch-perfect pass found pivot Marc Howard but he fired directly at the goalkeeper. This allowed GD to break but 18-year-old Daniel Araujo made a great save to ensure Hawks took victory.
Hawks now lie in second position on goal difference behind Warrington Wolves. However, victory away at Coventry Sharks on 11 December could leave them top at Christmas.
GD, meanwhile, lie in sixth spot on eight points with two wins and two defeats to their name.
Hawks coach Donna Hankinson said: “We never thought when we were formed in 2010 we would be playing in the same league as established clubs like London GD.
“Therefore, to be here today competing and even beating them with a squad of players, six out of nine who were with us at the start as young school boys, is an absolute dream.
“Six months ago we would have lost this game. Now we need to start believing anything is possible. If Leicester can win the premiership then why can’t we dream big.”