Not Plane Sailing for Piranhas

Banbury Piranhas – 0 British Airways 2’s – 3

This week saw the Piranhas face league leaders British Airway 2’s at home. The Piranhas line up was their usual mix of youth and experience although the experience does seem to get older each year ….  and don’t the cabin crew seem to get younger as well !

Expecting a tough game as British Airways 2’s are currently top of the table, we were not disappointed as there was more than a sprinkling of BA 1st team in their squad.  We had penciled in one half of the Bull/Hobs combo who were both challenged with Bloxham duties that afternoon but luckily managed to get one in the shape of Hobs who materialised on the pitch 10 mins into the game.

The 1st half started with a string of British Airways attacks with Piranhas struggling to hold onto the ball and combat the powerful BA midfield and attack. Great defending and shouting from Andy Camp, Man of the Match “King Piranha Finlay” together with Dipak “take one for the team” Tandel along with Ali Nash on his season debut managed to keep out most of the attacks, but still found themselves one down after a Penalty Corner managed to squirm under Keeper Steve Hicks who up to that point had managed keep the game goalless with a string of saves. The Piranhas started to find their feet and did build some decent attacks culminating with some half chances and penalty corners but remained one down as the first half finished.

The half time team talk concentrated on shorter passes and supporting the midfield and attack with more movement and energy. The team immediately took the comments on-board and were the better side in the 2nd Half creating some great moves and link up play though rotating midfield of Jamal, Zach, White, Hobs and Allman, with the attack squad of Allen, Britto and Ben. The opposition were getting agitated and concerned with their slender lead but managed to keep out the attacks despite some great play, chances and a string of penalty corners by the Piranhas.

With the game 15 mins from close, BA scored against the run of play to go 2 up with a Penalty Corner which was deflected from keeper to Allman’s right leg and somehow ended up in the net. The Piranhas Centre Back pairing of Camp / Tandel was broken as Dipak was substituted to the Bench in the Horton Casualty Unit (yes it’s still open) after getting clipped on head by a wild British Airways airshot. The medical reports have indicated that the injury have not marred Dipaks boy band looks with only a couple of stitches needed! Thanks to Kit and Jamie for delivering Dipak down to the Hospital ….. a ride far scarier than any ambulance journey so I am told !

Despite the reconfiguration of the side the Piranhas kept pushing and created more chances but could put the ball into the net. In the last couple of mins, BA scored a breakaway to make it 3 – 0 to the opposition.

The young Piranhas will not find many tougher and more physical games this season so taking the 1st 20 mins of the game aside, the team should take pride in the way the balance of the game changed through good play and hard work.