Updated: Oct 19, 2021
South Central League Premier 2 Division 16/10/21
Banbury Ladies 1s - 4, Wycombe 1s - 3
It was a lovely autumn day this morning and Banbury Ladies 1s were back at NOA. Can the home
ground and support prove advantageous? Despite the setback last week losing to Slough, heart can be taken from that second-half performance which saw Banbury play some lovely hockey.
Right from the off, it was clear that Banbury was keen to continue where they left off last week
with Jecca making a great break down the right, but as expected Wycombe was going to be a tough nut to crack and they came straight back at us, and despite Harriet shepherding the Wycombe player to the line, Wycombe won a Short. The Banbury defence held firm though and immediately broke back up the pitch, but this, unfortunately, broke down. However, it was clear to see that the Banbury team had fantastic energy and were keen to take it to the opposition.
The first 5 minutes saw the ball going end to end with breaks by both teams, but the Banbury
defence was well organised and dealt well with the Wycombe threat. 8 minutes in saw Tash make one of many great breaks and supported by Libby, who was taken out by the Wycombe goalkeeper, they won a foul. After a short meeting, the umpires decided on a penalty flick to Banbury. Up stepped captain cool, and as with 2 weeks ago against Basingstoke, Becca stroked it nicely along the ground to the goalkeepers left. One – Nil Banbury!
Banbury continued to press and show fantastic application, and soon after scoring, they went up the pitch and won a Short. Kate hammered the ball in, but it was blocked by Wycombe. Banbury
continued to press, but Wycombe broke up the field, and after 15 mins, from the right-hand side, cut the ball across goal and it was a simple tap in. One – One!
After scoring their equaliser, Wycombe was galvanised and soon broke down the middle, winning a Short. This was well defended, but Banbury was unable to get up the field before Wycombe won yet another short a minute later, but this also didn’t get past the well-drilled Banbury defence. Soon after, Molly broke on the left and passed to Tash and then on to Clemmie, but the attack didn’t get a shot off. However, as part of the attack, Banbury won a Short, but unfortunately, nothing came from this; Banbury continued to press the Wycombe D, winning another Short a minute later. The shot was good, but it was blocked. Banbury continued to press with Molly, Maddie and Tash combining well. After 28 mins Banbury was awarded another Short after Libby broke through the Wycombe defensive line, but still no goal! Back upfield came Wycombe who won a short of their own after 30 mins, but great defending from Banbury meant the score stayed one – one. Banbury kept up pressure of their own, and was dictating play in the Wycombe half and in the last minute of the half, won another Short, which Wycombe defended well, but didn’t clear, and with seconds to go, Banbury had another Short and another chance at getting a goal. The ball seemed to be in the D an age, but Libby was able to bundle it in and Banbury went into halftime with a two–one lead!
Hobs didn’t need to tell the ladies much during the halftime break, as they were playing, and
applying themselves to great effect, and the 2nd half began well - Maddie broke upfield and won a Short in the first minute. Another came soon after, but neither provided Banbury with the third goal they deserved. Banbury was the better team now and continued to press the Wycombe line and 7 mins into the second half Libby, Tash and Nat all combined well to bring about a fantastic stop from the Wycombe goalie – she was having a very good game. Banbury kept up the pressure and a minute later Tash hammered the ball home, giving the goalie no chance. Three – one Banbury!
Would this put the game to bed? No chance! Wycombe applied more pressure with some great play and movement, and after a number of despairing tackles, Wycombe was awarded a Short corner 10 mins in. It wasn’t a great Short, but they somehow managed to squeeze the ball in. Three – Two; game on!
It didn’t take Banbury long though to move the ball upfield with great combination play from Tash
and Molly, but their goalie saved well. 15 mins in saw Maddie with one of her trademark breaks and dribbles, head towards the Wycombe goal, but they held firm, and immediately broke back. A
minute or so later saw Wycombe in the Banbury D and with another Short. From this, there was a bit of a melee in the box, which looked like Banbury had survived, only to see the ball dribble over the line. Three – Three!
It continued to be end to end stuff, but Banbury, on the whole, looked fairly comfortable and were
probably having the best of it. After 23 mins Maddie sped upfield, and was supported by the whole mid and front line, who all combined to pass the ball from one to the other, and another Short was won by Banbury. The result of this was a lovely goal from Kate; at last Banbury pressure was telling – four – three Banbury!
Was it over? Nothing of the sort. Wycombe came upfield and won a short after 26 mins when a ball lifted off a Banbury stick. As with so many of the Wycombe Shorts, this was well defended and the score remained the same. Banbury moved back upfield and Maddie had a terrific reverse stick hit well saved by the Wycombe goalie. The game was played in the Wycombe half for much of the last 9 mins of the game, but Wycombe did have one more go, and in the last 4 mins, Banbury lost Libby to a card (another one!) and Wycombe tried to press home that advantage. In the last 2 mins, Wycombe earned themselves a short which they hammered towards the Banbury goal, but it was way too high and Muqaddas saved it anyway. Game over; four – three to Banbury!!
This was a very entertaining game to watch and a great advert for Ladies hockey. The Banbury Ladies 1s are doing themselves justice in this league with another great result.
MVP – It was a close run thing between Maddie and Tash, but Tash got the vote (and the chocs – to follow next time…..)
Ladies 1s Manager 16/10/21
Photo: Kate Murphy sets the press
Photo: Molly posts up
Photo: Maddy lunges to the attack!