May Day Madness

U16 Girls: Oxford 1 : Banbury 2

On the morning of Sunday 1st, Banbury’s u16 girls travelled to Oxford to compete against the U16’s of Oxford City. Pre match nerves were fairly high as Banbury spotted some familiar faces on the opposing team, this game was expected to be challenging. After an encouraging team talk from Captain Simon Atkins, the girls were prepared for the match ahead and started the game with enthusiasm and determination. Banbury’s team work shone through that of the opposing team’s, as a numerous amount of short corners were given in the first half and after a brilliant strike from Charli Price, Banbury were 1 goal up. Banbury kept working well as a team and some brilliant play was demonstrated on the right wing between Miranda Edwards and Grace King. Unfortunately no more goals were conceded in the first half, although Banbury had many chances Oxford were playing with a young but very strong keeper. Accurate aerials from Charli made sure the ball remained predominantly at the right end of the pitch from Banbury’s point of view!

Saffie Inskip, Helena Roberts and Vicky and Emma Warlow, all played a strong game in defence making sure Oxford were unable to score any goals in the first half- their play did not falter during the second half either. Going into the second half—although very tired and hot—Banbury were confident and expecting to score more goals; this was a match they were determined to win. Jenny Marsh played nimbly in centre pitch along with Charli Price, passing numerous balls out to Sophie Hills and Emily Fothergill on the left wing. Maddy Hunt and Sophie made excellent passed down the left side of the pitch, enabling Banbury’s final goal which was scored by Maddy. The team celebrated their second goal as a rather forlorn looking goalkeeper watched the ball roll into her territory past her right leg, centimetres from the goals post.

The team were hot and worn-out in the unusual warm English weather, but this didn’t show in their final play. Unfortunately one of Banbury’s key players, Charli, was unable to finish the match due to medical circumstances. However, Banbury continued to play well together, supporting one another for the rest of the match. In the last few minutes of the match Banbury pushed themselves closer towards the oppositions D- hoping for one last goal. Oxford chose this one moment in the game to play a strong ball out to one of their high forwards, Vicky Warlow was ready to take on this forward in her channel to goal. However an unfortunate moment occurred for Vicky, as she fell over fresh air and gracefully landed on the firm astro. Leaving Oxford’s forward and Olivia Pigden faced against each other in the last minute of the game, unfortunately Oxford managed to score their first (but only) goal, despite Olivia’s best efforts.

Banbury left the pitch with broad smiles and a proud Captain as they won their final match of the season. The day rounded of their overall successful season perfectly and the girls are looking forward to the next time they are able to play together as a team.

Sophie Hills