Mixed Quarter Final Match Report
Banbury Mixed’s fairy tale 11 game winning streak which saw them win the England Hockey Mixed Trophy in the 2015/16 season and reach the Quarter Finals this year has come to an end at the hands of Leamington based side Khalsa.
Khalsa Started the better of the two sides, with a high tempo approach that put their visitors who struggled to live up to the pace of play they found themselves up against. Khalsa’s positive start was rewarded with a couple of early short corners with which they came inches from opening the scoring, the first flashing past the post and the second being cleared off the line by Banbury’s Harry Brooker. The home side did however break the deadlock, converting from the penalty spot after Goal Keeper Scott Reynolds brought down the Khalsa forward in a last ditch diving tackle. The majority of the first half remained 1-0 until a Banbury Short Corner was converted by Kyle White who fired a drag flick into the top left corner. The first half finished one goal apiece and a fairly even affair.
Again the second half was a tightly matched affair both sides putting together positive attacking moves and threatening to take the lead. Much like the first half it was Khalsa who found themselves in the lead through a skilful short corner routine, where the striker dribbled past the two Banbury runners and struck a powerful close range reverse stick shot into the bottom corner. Banbury responded well to being behind and created multiple chances including a string of short corners, but strong defence from the home side and some spectacular saves from their goal keeper denied Banbury the goal they desperately needed. As time began to run out Banbury continued knock on the door and press forward having nothing to lose, two quick counter attacking moves starting from deep inside the Khalsa half settled the tie, leaving Khalsa with an unassailable 4-1 lead. Banbury did not give up and continued to play up to the final whistle and manage a consolation second goal with Kyle White scoring a penalty stroke on the final whistle meaning the game finished 4-2 to Khalsa.
Captain Scott Reynolds said “This was obviously a bitterly disappointing result for us, but we have had another really enjoyable season and have played every game with smiles on our faces, the team has a fantastic team spirit and this was obvious after the game where there was still a real sense of togetherness despite the result. We created a lot of chances and were denied by some great saves by their keeper, had one of those gone in earlier in the second half it could have been a very different result but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. We wish Khalsa the best of luck in the finals weekend, having been there last year we know how much of an enjoyable experience it is and hope that they come back with the trophy.”