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Ladies 1s Vs. New Forest 1s - Saturday 11th February 2023

The Banbury ladies first team are on a roll

Banbury HC Ladies 1s - 3, New Forest Ladies 1s – 1

The team was a bit short on numbers again but this just seems to bring out the best in them. It took less than 5 mins for the Banbury team to be in the D attacking the New Forest goal and after some good work by the forward line, Zoe Young was on hand to have a go on goal. She was tackled mid shot and ended up on her knees, but even from there she got her shot away and into the net; 1-0 Banbury. Another great start! A minute later, after concerted New Forest pressure, the away team shot hard and low into the back of the Banbury net and it was quickly all square again. For a while it was end to end with no further clear cut chances, until 12 mins in when Tash Roberts won a short corner. From this, New Forest cleared, but only to the edge of the D, where Krissy Bull was waiting to shoot the ball into the corner; the Banbury Right Back scores! 2-1 Banbury. New Forest were quickly back into the Banbury D and it took a good save from Sammy Bates and clearance from Charli Price to keep them out. For the remainder of the half it was a right “ding dong” battle with both sides going close, and both sides winning short corners, but the defences also stood firm and both sets of attackers were prevented from adding to the scoreline before the half time break.

Banbury came out fast after the half time break and were soon attacking the New Forest D, and after 4 mins and a glorious though ball to Annie Bowler, she drew the goalie out which enabled her to cooly pass the ball to Tash Roberts who found the back of the net for Banbury’s third. It was good stuff and Banbury were playing good solid hard hockey. 8 mins in, Tash Roberts saw her effort (one of many) just fly past the post. All this possession and attacking play looked like it was beginning to tire the Banbury ladies though, as they were down to the bare 11 and had no subs to allow anyone to take a rest and New Forest began to press and pose problems. For a while Banbury sat very deep, soaking up the pressure, but they did weather the storm and got their second wind. After 16 mins Libby Haden and Zoe Young combined well to see a shot go just wide of the New Forest goal. Now, Zoe Young, Tash Roberts and Rosie Gowing were bossing the middle of the park making it really difficult for New Forest to settle and get into any rhythm; they looked frustrated and unsettled. Like last week, our ladies kept their cool and their shape and this made things difficult for New Forest who were getting ever more desperate to get back into the game. Banbury expertly kept the ball and slowed the game down. New Forest did have a final hurrah 10 mins form the end with a couple of short corners, but Banbury defended well and kept them out, and it was in fact Banbury who finished the game at the end the strongest with Rosie dribbling past about what seemed like half the New Forest team to take the ball from our end of the pitch right back up to theirs. Banbury had what looked like a perfectly good goal chalked off a couple mins from time as the umpire thought the raised shot was going wide before Corin expertly put it in; some said it was goal bound anyway and should have stood, however, it mattered not, because soon after the final whistle went and the ladies celebrated their second win in a row – and well deserved it was too.

MVP – a great team performance again and this was reflected in joint MVPs, Rosie, Annie & Krissy.

“Like last week, this was a well executed game of hockey with few errors, few passes going astray and all the simple things done well. Banbury played together as a team and despite a number of ladies being somewhat under the weather and with no subs to give them a break, they all played with determination and drive and were clearly determined not to lose. With this attitude we could see a few more wins before the season finishes. Well done again!”

Bryce Wilkinson

Ladies 1s Manager 11/02/23

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