Match Reports 17/03/18

Ladies 1st Team

2-1 Loss against Spencer

Goal Scorer: Molly Levene

Banbury played with excellent determination despite the cold weather, narrowly loosing to top of the League team Spencer.

Despite the cold weather, Banbury begun play with lots of energy in both attack and defence. Spencer had an early attacking run, which was cut short of a shot on goal by a well coordinated defensive line. A continued show of strength in defence shocked the opposition, with notably good tackles being made by Sophie Hills and Becca Edwards.

Throughout the first half, the forwards worked hard off the ball and by implementing a well executed press, they forced the Spencer defenders to move the ball wide. This gave the mid-fielders the opportunity to channel the ball, and consequently led to a large number of turnovers.

A shot on goal by Spencer was denied a result by an excellent save from goal keeper Gabi Louro, who continued to make exceptional saves throughout the match. Despite some strong driving runs and patterns of play from both teams, chances were not converted into goals, and the score was set at 0-0 when the half time whistle went.

Spirits were high as the team began the second half. However, slight mistakes meant that Spencer were awarded their first short corner of the match. Fast running out and brave defensive play meant that three consecutive corners were stopped by Banbury, but an excellent shot from Spencer player Natkiss meant Spencer took the lead.

A green card to the opposition did not reap any rewards for Banbury, and another successful short corner scored by Spencer player Brooks brought the score to 2-0.

With time running out, Emily Dove ran hard down the line, seeing off a handful of Spencer defenders on her way. Emily’s pace allowed her to cut back inside, and make a pass into the D to Molly Levene who took a shot. This resulted in a goal for Banbury, with only 2 minutes to spare.


Ladies 2nd Team

5-0 Loss against Witney


Ladies 3rd Team

2-2 Draw against Phoenix and Ranelagh


Ladies 4th Team

5-1 Loss against Henley


Ladies 5th Team

2-0  Win against Sonning

Goal Scorers: Milly Whitton and Cally Burgess

Following last week’s rather physical loss at Wycombe, the fives faced the chilly snow flurries knowing a win was not only on the cards but necessary.  They started well, running hard to keep warm, but lacking in total control of their passing to the correct colour.  However, they persevered and gradually the ability to string passes together returned, coupled with their usual tenacity and pace.

Sian Glaze was outstanding again, having returned to more familiar duties towards the back from an excellent showing as a forward last weekend. Cally Burgess and Vicky Shackleton proved back to hockey ladies can really be a force to be reckoned with up the right side, ability assisted as always by Lauren Smith. Natalie Kyte, Liberty Haden  and Milly Whitton picked up the mantle on the left and with her first adult league game, Evie Wilkinson soon settled in and took her usual strong junior match play to another level with excellent results. Megan Broome and Molly Clarke provided cover up both flanks and Holly Brummell and Frances Claydon kept everyone together ( along with Carols voice) and so Mandy Handforth did not  have to make a save all game. She was glad of all the goal keepers layers of clothing!

Sonning Vets were big hitters and strong tacklers and the match moved from end to end, but good attacking play forced their defence to concede some short corners , one of which saw the shot on goal balloon up of a Sonning stick, over players and keeper to bounce by Milly Whitton, who converted beautifully, her first goal for the 5’s.

This gave Banbury a 1 – 0 lead at half time, and with coats on, the team talk focused on continued running, passing more between ourselves, and closing down the opponents main play makers.

The second half continued much as the first, with Sonning pressing hard to be met with dogged defending and the younger Banbury side countering with sharp breaks. Then a strange clearance from Carol Hicks saw a ball that should have gone out manage to follow the side line all the way up the pitch and be chased down by Natalie Kyte,  who pulled the ball across to Milly Whitton who coolly passed to Cally Burgess in space to beat the keeper , and we were 2 -0 up !.

Despite corners at either end and fast breaks by both sides , the scoreline stayed at it was and the deserving Frances Claydon was voted man of the match.  A great result and well done girls


Men’s 1st Team

5-3 Win Against Tunbridge Wells

Goal Scorers: Kieran Symons, Joe Allen (2), George Brooker and Max Grossmith

Banbury are back in business in the promotion race with a barely believable 5 – 3  win in atrocious weather conditions after being 3 – 0 down inflicting their second defeat on South Premier League 2 leaders Tunbridge Wells to secure their second place with only 2 games to play.

With snow and ice on the pitch it was a close call whether the game should go ahead at all and it looked as if Banbury had made the wrong call in agreeing to play as the game got off to a disastrous start.  Only 5 minutes into the game Banbury’s defence of a penalty corner deflected onto Simon Boardman’s knee to concede a penalty stroke.  In his last game of the season before going off to play in Australia goal keeper Fergus Dunleavy showed the value he has brought to the team by saving the home side flick.

Despite the let off of the penalty save Banbury simply could not cope with the conditions and conceded with Ben Allberry scoring to put the home side ahead followed minutes later when a fluke mistake by Aussie Kieran Symons saw his aerial pass skew away and set up Ben Brandt to double the home side lead.  With Banbury rocking another massively uncharacteristic midfield error set up Simon Hare to increase the home lead to 3.

Banbury began to settle but it was looking like a forlorn hope until, with 2 minutes remaining in the half Josh Nunneley’s long aerial pass found Boardman who was brought down by the home keeper to concede another penalty stroke, duly put away by Symons to reduce the lead.  With Banbury back on the front foot Joe Allan rediscovered the scoring habit rounding the keeper to reduce the deficit.

This week it was Banbury’s turn to improve in the second half now attacking the goal which had been made more difficult to defend by the weather. Allan completed George Brooker’s pass from the right to level the scores after only 5 minutes.  With the visitors now truly in their stride Brooker’s wayward backhand shot was deflected by a home defender past their keeper to take the lead.  Moments later the freak occurrence of the cold weather caused the ball to split as it was struck by Steve O’Connor who saw a small part of the ball end up in the Tunbridge goal, but the Umpires could not award a fraction of a goal.

With 5 minutes to go Max Grosmith doubled the lead to claim the unlikely but well deserved victory.

Manager Steve Brooker was delighted with his side’s resilience in difficult conditions “With second place Guildford having their game postponed and still due to visit leaders Tunbridge we are well placed with work to do and our fate is back in our own hands next week with the home fixture against struggling Bournemouth”.


Men’s 2nd Team

3-0 Loss Against Reading

Banbury hosted top of the league Reading, having edged them in a tight game in the away leg Banbury knew that Reading would be looking to settle the score.

Reading took the game by the scruff of the neck dominating possession and territory, tough defending from Banbury though denied Reading the chance to get on the score sheet. Despite Reading continuing to create chances throughout the half Banbury managed to keep their opponents at bay until the stroke of half time where a well worked short corner routine gave Reading the goal they had been hunting.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first, Banbury again with their backs against the wall defending, late into the second half Banbury looked like getting back into the game and putting the Reading defence to the test. This pressure was short lived though and Reading added two more goals giving them an unassailable 3 goal lead.


Men’s 3rd Team

5-3 Loss against Oxford

Goal Scorers: Stuart Armstrong, Dave Clarke (2)


Men’s Piranhas

1-1 Draw against Leighton Buzzard