Dynamic Duo grab points for Piranhas

Banbury Piranhas – 2 Bicester 3’s – 0

The Piranhas side certainly had a different feel about it this week as 5 of the regular Piranhas along with Captain Allman had been sent to West Hampstead to play for Banbury 3’s. Please don’t confuse West Hampstead with Coventry as the “lended” Piranha players certainly enjoyed the match and their time at the Brent Cross Toys R Us venue. Despite losing the match, they did manage to pick up good game time with the 3’s along with some great Fisher Price bargains !

The Piranhas despite losing a few players, do have the luxury of a large young squad this year, and fielded a select band of players captained this week none other than by the legendary Stuart Armstrong. Now Stuart has been known never to be short of few words of advice to the umpires, so I managed, in a stroke of genius to also employ Stuart’s handler, Gary White, who managed to keep Stuart on the straight and narrow and on the pitch for the whole 70 mins. A recipe for success I hear you cry !

Ah Ha !…. I hear you also thinking…. You now understand the dynamic duo reference in the title of this article, it must be Stuart and Gary ………as I suppose they could possibly be confused with the Caped Crusader and his Side Kick …. or was that a one particular episode of Only Fools and Horses ? Be that as it may ……you would have been completely wrong !

….….. the secret identity of the dynamic duo was in fact none other than Ricochet (Stuart) Ralph and Piranha newbie this year Seb Harvey. Not too sure who was Batman and who was Robin, so will leave Seb and Stuart to argue that one out… one thing we do know, is that they both made it onto the score sheet against Bicester to help secure the points and move the Piranhas up to mid table.

Skipper Armstrong as you would expect, had the Piranhas well organised and raring to go… so the game started with Banbury on the front foot, playing great Hockey and dominating the early play. Great all-round midfield work by Jacob, Harvey and Charlie linking well with the skipper sitting at the base of the diamond creating quite a few chances with only good saves from the Bicester keeper and two Penalty Corners missing the post by inches keeping the score level. After a period of sustained pressure, a nice move down the left found Stuart Ralph on the P spot who slapped in a great shot beating the keeper to send Banbury one up.

The 2nd half was more even affair with Bicester starting very brightly and bringing Jamie Lamb into action pulling off quite a few good saves. As the half moved on, Bicester were the more dominant side as the Piranhas lost their shape a little, but great defensive work by Gary White and Felix Web together with great chasing back and cover by Ed Lewis and Veteran Physio Jon Davis kept Bicester at bay. The home side still looked very dangerous on the break and 10 mins before the end, the Piranhas youngsters put together a lovely move to find Seb Harvey unmarked at the back post who kept his cool and put the home side 2 up. Bicester didn’t make the last few minutes easy for the home side hitting the post and creating a few more chances, but the Piranhas held firm to close the match out 2 – 0 winners.

Big thanks to Stuart for leading the team and nice to a see a really good performance from the Piranhas with lots of hard running, some great play and a couple of new positions found for some players !

Next week, a really tough match against Top of League Newbury and Thatcham 4’s who have dispatched their last two oppositions 18 – 0 and 8 – 0 respectively.

Matt Allman