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Ladies 1s Vs. Basingstoke - Saturday 2 October 2021

South Central League Premier 2 Division 02/10/21

Banbury HC Ladies 1s - 3, Basingstoke - 3

Today was cold and damp, and it got wetter and wetter as the morning went on, but this didn’t

dampen the spirits of the ladies, their coach, manager, or those few brave folks who travelled the

hour and a half to watch.

Despite winning their first match last week, it is still a little unknown as to where in this league

Banbury really sit, so this was another step forward in finding their feet. From the start, both teams went at it and it was good end to end stuff. After 2 mins, Banbury were awarded a short, but as is so often the case, nothing came of it, unfortunately. In fact, the ball took a bit of a bobble and went over the stick stop and careered up towards our own half – something for the training pitch perhaps?

After 9 mins or so Basingstoke got the first of their many short corners, and this was well defended by Banbury; Becca turning it away when it was heading in the direction of the goal. A minute later Basingstoke had another short corner which they blasted over. Up the other end went Banbury, and after a great break by our new recruit Clemmie, the ball was fired across the goal, and Molly was just inches away from deflecting it in. On 22 mins, after a lovely break by Libby, the ball was passed across goal and up stepped Fern to tap in. One nil Banbury! One minute of the 35 to go and Basingstoke got another short. This time they found the target and unfortunately, it found its way in. One all at half time.

Despite the ever-increasing rain, Hobs gave an enthusiastic half-time team talk and the ladies went out with renewed vigour and determination; the setback at the end of the first half long forgotten.

The second half started as the first, with real end-to-end stuff and after 7 minutes Basingstoke received a short corner when Libby returned to defend at full pelt and ran into their attacker who fell over a la Luis Suarez. Basingstoke got a short, from which they scored and Libby received 5 mins in the bin! Two one Basingstoke.

Basingstoke got another short soon after for a very dubious stick tackle, but Banbury defended

resolutely. 16 mins from the end Maddie dribbled past half their team and whilst setting up to shoot was brutally brought down by their goalie. Surely a flick, but no, the ref only gave a short. Hobs, who is normally very reserved on the sideline was beside himself and very nearly received a card, but stayed on the pitch – just. However, Banbury were on it and during this foray into the D saw a number of Banbury players lining up to shoot, but it was Kate who blasted it in and despite it coming off the defender, it still ended up high in the net. Two all.

Basingstoke pressed and pressed and were definitely up for getting a winner. With 9 mins to go

Basingstoke won another short, and despite a great save by Muqaddas, the ball somehow ended up in the net. Three two Basingstoke!

This Banbury team were not finished though and with 5 mins to go during another Banbury attack, the Basingstoke defence managed to keep the ball out by foul means and the ref did award a flick. Who would take it…..??? Up stepped Captain Becca. Cool as a cucumber, she slid it along the ground and into the right-hand side of the goal. Three all!

The last four minutes seemed to drag, but Banbury managed the time well and only once did

Basingstoke get the ball in a dangerous position, with nothing of any note happening in that time.

The final whistle blew and it was all over. A great three all draw, which upon reflection was probably a fair result. I think the team can now look forward to the rest of the season with positivity. It looks very much like they belong where they are, and although there will be many hard games to come, it’s been a great start to the season. As a footnote to today, it’s worth noting that the team was without a few of their more seasoned performers, and in fact, they had 6 schoolgirls in the lineup (two yr11, three yr12 & one yr13). The future looks bright with so many youngsters stepping up and playing so well.

Another great game, another great result, and another great team effort.

MVP – Becca Atkins for her heroics in defence and scoring a goal!

Bryce Wilkinson

Ladies 1s Manager 02/10/21

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