Mixed Side are National Champions
Congratulations to the Mixed Side on Winning the England Hockey Mixed Trophy this weekend after beating Formby 4-3 in the final.
The team first overcame Bristol Firebrands 3-1 in a tight semi final on Saturday too book their place in the Final. Banbury got of to a dream start, winning a Penalty Corner which was slotted into the top corner by Josh Nunneley inside the opening three minutes. The first half remained a tight affair with Banbury holding firm despite good attacking pressure from Firebrands who created a number of chances including one which struck the post of Banbury’s goal. Banbury then doubled their lead, Steve O’Connor making an immediate impact by eliminating two Firebrands players and squaring the ball to Charlie Matthews to firehome. The first half ended with Banbury 2 goals to the good and looking in the ascendancy.
The second half started with Firebrands the stronger of the two sides, putting Banbury under sustained periods of pressure, the Bristol side were rewarded for their endeavours, opening their account from a short corner that was deflected in off a Banbury stick. Shortly after Firebrands believed they had drawn level after the ball again flew into the top corner of Banbury’s net. However, the umpire ruled that the ball had come off a Banbury stick and no Firebrands player had touched the ball inside the D. From then on Banbury dominated the remainder of the second half and created a number of chances but couldn’t seem to put any way, until Steve O’Connor settled the tie late on with a well worked Penalty Corner Routine.
Sunday saw Banbury face a highly motivated and well organised Formby side, in almost a reverse of the semi final it was Banbury who found themselves trailing by a goal to nil early in the game. Formby continued to put the Banbury defence under great pressure creating a number of clear-cut chances, but Banbury were not phased by this and continued to grow into the game. The tie was turned on it’s head with an inspired 10 minute spell mid way through the first half that saw Josh Nunneley complete a hat-trick, scoring twice from short corners and rounding it off it by sending the Formby keeper the wrong way to cooly finish from the penalty spot. From then on Banbury controlled the remainder of the first half and took a 3-1 lead into half time.
Both sides started slowly after half time, games the previous day and the blistering temperatures at the Lee Valley clearly taking there toll. It remained a cagey affair for the first 1o minutes until Formby found their way back into the game with a thundering reverse stick goal. Despite Formby pressing hard following this boost Banbury remained resolute doing well to shut the game out and limit Formby to a handful of further chances. with 5 minutes left to play Max Grossmith deflected in what looked to be the deciding goal, 4-2 Banbury. Formby managed to grab a late consolation goal with the final touch of the game, but as the hooter went it was Banbury who were victorious 4-3 and crowned National Champions.