Ladies 1 beat local rivals Witney to take top of table spot
South Div 3A
Banbury Ladies 1st 4 v Witney Ladies 1st 3
Saturday 8th November at North Oxford Academy
Banbury faced league leaders Witney in what has always been a hotly contested match, with Banbury trailing Witney by 3 points in the league leading into the game, a win was imperative. Witney had much of their usual team and with key players skipper Katie Gatt and Lucy Reading holding the centre of the pitch Banbury had their work cut out for them. It wasn’t a great start for the home team, and the girls took time to settle into their usual passing game, unfortunately the girls took too long to settle and Witney’s Ellie Norton scored from a fine individual piece of skill, beating several defenders and slotting it in from a wide angle.
This was the wake-up call Banbury needed and with great play in the middle by Juliet Gardner, Becca Atkins and Samantha Humpreys the girls started the link well with each other and were soon rewarded with a short corner after some neat play between Tasha Nunneley and Sadie Lapper. With a well practiced corner Mae Welch scored the equaliser from a deflection in front of the keeper. Banbury’s spirits were lifted by this and with cool heads and pinpoint passing, Lapper won another penalty corner, Samantha Humpreys made light work of this and slotted the ball into the right corner in a cool calm and collected manner.
A penalty stroke was awarded after Witney’s defence illegally stopped the ball on the line, but Banbury failed to capitalise on this opportunity. The girls continued to thwart the Witney goal but were unlucky to not score any more before half time.
The second half proved a fruitful affair, Banbury started hard and soon were leading 4-1 after a beautifully taken penalty corner by Vicky Coombs and a tap in by Pippa Jones at a second corner. But momentarily Banbury seemed to lose focus, the quality was lost, and heads went down. Banbury continually gave away possession in the middle of the park, and after a fast free hit taken by Gatt, Anna Scrivens managed to get a fluky deflection in the D and score Witney’s second goal. This gave Witney a new motivation and they played hard for the final ten minutes, Izzy Hayes managed to sneak a third and things were looking bleak but Banbury held it together and continued to work as a team. The girls worked exceptionally hard and this result will be of paramount importance as the season progresses.
Banbury venture to Chiswick next week for another hard match.