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Ladies 1s Vs. Portsmouth 1s - Saturday 4th March 2023

A Grand Day out for Banbury

Banbury HC Ladies 1s - 3,Portsmouth Ladies 1s – 1

A strong Banbury team travelled to far flung Portsmouth confident of a good showing. The first 5 mins or so was a game of attrition and neither team carved out any clear cut chances, but Banbury looked comfortable and had made a good start for a change. After 6 mins, Tash Roberts seemed to dribble past half the Portsmouth team and from the right hand side of the D rocketed a shot under the goalies feet straight into the goal; 1-0 Banbury. Portsmouth seemed rocked and were determined to get back into it quickly and they pressed Banbury hard for the next 5 mins looking for an opening, but Banbury held firm and played some tidy hockey keeping Portsmouth at arms length.

The game ebbed and flowed for a bit and Tash had another chance, but their goalie saved well. After 20 mins and a fairly innocuous break down the right by Portsmouth into the Banbury D, from the most acute of angles, the Portsmouth attack somehow squeezed the ball in at the near post and it trickled over the line giving Portsmouth their equaliser. Banbury were not deterred in the slightest and a min later after another well executed attack, Abbie Stevens found herself with the ball in the D and fired it into the net; 2-1 Banbury. The Banbury team were now playing well and in the ascendency and looked like scoring more and earned short corners after 27 and 34 mins, and whilst both were well executed, the Portsmouth goalie saved well and the teams went in 2-1 Banbury. Whilst the away team was the best team in this half, there was still only one goal in it…

Straight from the off Banbury attacked the Portsmouth goal and appeared to have earned a short, but the umpire rightly played advantage as Tash got her shot off, but the goalie saved. Portsmouth had some good players and we had to continue to play sensibly and not give the ball away, else they were capable of punishing us, and after 5 mins they did in fact earned themselves a short corner, which Banbury fortunately defended well. The Banbury ladies were passing the ball effectively and doing the basics well; this was just what was needed – keep the ball, pass to stick and not give the opposition a chance. 12 mins into the second half, Banbury attacked as team with a number of ladies involved; this started in midfield with Vic “Pagey” Coombs and after a few lovely short sharp passes amongst her team mates, she got the ball back, and from the edge of the D fired an unstoppable shot into the net; 3-1 Banbury. Portsmouth were struggling to make any inroads, and the game was played for quite a time in and around the Portsmouth D. They did manage to get up field briefly, but the Banbury defence coped well and normal service was soon resume after 23 mins, Clemmie Morrison (who appeared to be everywhere) pushed a shot just past the post. A minute later Tash won a short, and then another a few minutes later. Unfortunately, both didn’t produce another Banbury goal. Towards the end, after some lovely passing and movement, Banbury had another shot which just flew past the Portsmouth goal. The final whistle soon went and it finished 3-1 Banbury.

MVP – a great team performance, but Pagey received most votes this week.

“This was more like it. The ladies settled quickly this week, and on the whole (particularly in the 2nd half) did all the basics really well. They kept it tight and didn’t give the opposition much chance to play. The whole team played together as one, and whilst this was not a spectacular performance, nor was it the team’s biggest win, I did think that this was one of their best. This result, coupled with our team then travelling to support the Banbury men’s’ 1s game against Marlow which resulted in the men’s team winning and being promoted to the National League, was a grand day out for everyone involved”.

Bryce Wilkinson

Ladies 1s Manager 04/03/23

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