Veteran Ralph kicks starts Piranha Victory

Banbury Piranhas – 3 Newbury & Thatcham 5’s – 1

This week saw the Piranhas facing Newbury & Thatcham 5’s. The opposition were relatively unknown to the Piranhas as they were newly promoted into MBBO 7 last year along with their 4th team as well.

The Piranhas were fielding a contrasting mix of young and old with most of the team either qualifying for under 16’s or over 50’s. Unknown to N&T the Piranhas had drafted in their secret weapon….none other than Ricochet Ralph… Banbury Vets legendary lethal goal poacher who just got back from a spot of night fishing….(we’ll get to that later !)

The match started with the Piranhas immediately gelling well and moving the ball around nicely. The new look defensive line up of Guy Heathcote and Felix Webb at Centre Back along with Ethan Bissett and Zach Boynton at Left and Right back respectively looked firm and moved the ball around the back nicely to start off a flurry of Piranha attacks.

The Piranhas went into a well-deserved lead after 20 mins with a great move to find Stuart “Ricochet” Ralph at the far post for a 1 yard reverse stick tap in after a great Harry Simons reverse stick cross. Despite good play and more chances setup by the midfield combo of Captain Allman, Noel Britto, Ed Lewis, John Davis & Harry Simons the Piranhas could not increase their lead and went in at half time just one up.

The 2nd half started with a lively 5 mins sustained pressure by the opposition creating a few chances ably batted away by keeper Phil Smith. Luckily for Banbury HC, Smithy has now hung up his 5 aside football boots after a horrific Big Toe Nail injury forced him retirement from that “rough game”. “Bigger boys kept picking on me” said Smithy and after a 7-0 thrashing from Byfield U9’s  now sticks to watching the mighty Wolves at Molineux.

Anyway back to the game…..the 2nd half continued with excellent pass and move Hockey from the Piranhas, with some great interplay from the forward line of Ben Clarke, Seb Harvey and Ricochet Ralph to setup some good chances and a string of penalty corners for the home team. The Piranhas second goal came midway through the 2nd half from a nicely worked Penalty Corner with Harry Simons slapping in from mid D.

Newbury and Thatcham pulled one Back 10 mins from time, but the Piranhas avoided a nervy close out by getting a third shortly after from another well worked Penalty corner, this time slotted in by Captain Allman from the P spot.

King Piranha went to debutant Ben Clarke who had a great first game despite being submitted to Ricochet Ralph’s on field fishing stories through the game. One of the Piranhas Paparazzi managed to catch one of these moments on Camera…….

Hockey Photo

Next week a luxury 2pm home game at NOA for the Piranhas against Gerrard’s Cross and hope to keep the 3 game unbeaten streak going…

Matthew Allman