Piranhas tough out Win against Eascote with 1 minute silence for Tim Bence.

Banbury Piranhas – 2 Eascote 5’s – 1 

The format of the Banbury Piranhas match report is usually a mixture of attempted wit, a sprinkling of news with some match facts thrown in to describe the reason we all turn up each Saturday…

…This week however, that style of match report seems rather inappropriate as we were made aware of some very sad news during the week. Tim Bence (Oxford 7’s Keeper) had collapsed on the pitch during an MBBO7 fixture last Saturday and died shortly after. Both myself and Campy have played against Oxford 7’s with Tim in goal over the last 5 years and he was genuinely a lovely bloke who played with a smile on his face and always had time to chat and socialise with the opposition after matches. The Piranhas will be playing our home MBBO7 fixture against Oxford 7’s on the 11th March.

Oxford of course had their own tribute to Tim at the match yesterday (Link Below

http://www.oxfordhc.org/2017/02/19/tribute-to-tim-bence/

The Piranhas v Eastcote 5’s game also started with a 1 minute’s silence.  Once the match was underway, it was the Eastcote team (who had a nice mixture of youth and experience) who came out of the blocks quickly and had Banbury under pressure for the first ten or fifteen minutes. The Piranhas could not get their ball place and basics under control and as such, had very few chances with Eastcote making most of the play. A nice midfield move by Eastcote down the right wing created some good space and found players unmarked in the Piranhas D and Eascote went into a deserved lead with a flick into the corner leaving Banbury Keeper Henry White little chance.

The Piranhas started to find their shape and with a good move, Simon West was put through and drove down the left hand touchline, slipped the ball to Matt Allman in the middle of the D who struck cleanly into bottom left corner to equalise. The half continued fairly evenly with chances at both ends. Good defensive work by Andy Camp, Adam Bailey, Thomas Allman, Finlay McEvoy and Ali Nash kept out a series of Penalty Corners for Eastcote. Some great attacking interplay play by Ben Revill, John Townsend, Jamal Mourssali, James Doran and Sam Baldry created a number of half chances but the Eascote defence held firm leaving both teams even at a half time.

The Piranhas came out in the 2nd half and corrected all their first half faults moving the ball quickly around the pitch with great pass and move hockey hardly giving the ball away. The Eascote side tired quickly and the Piranhas quickly started to create some good chances. The Eascote defence and keeper somehow kept the score level with numerous chances foiled from Revill, Mourssali, Doran, Crocked Camp and Townsend together with a looping reverse stick lob from Andy Clark who peeled away in triumph until he realised it was heading for the spare goal just to right of the real one.

The Banbury dominance increased with great control and distribution from Simon West and full backs Finley McEvoy and Thomas Allman pushing up giving great support and adding another attacking dimension. With 9 minutes left, the pressure finally told and Banbury scored with a Matt Allman strike from a Penalty Corner.

Banbury saw the game out missing out from a couple more chances to increase the lead before the final whistle, leaving the final score 2 – 1. With the South League surprising all of the MBBO7 teams by revealing that in fact 4 teams will be relegated this year there are 6 teams all fighting for relegation survival.

Next week is Bourton and Sherborne at home and is a must win game – but truth be told, all 7 remaining games are must win !