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Ladies 1s Vs. Wycombe 2s - Saturday 4th February 2023

Banbury ladies top drawer performance throws the league wide open

Banbury HC Ladies 1s - 3,Wycombe Ladies 2s - 1

We were playing away against the top of the league this week, and with limited availability across the whole club, and a few regular players missing, expectations were not too high; if we could take anything from the game, that would be good.

The first 5 mins was a bit of a cagey affair with both teams feeling their way into the game. I think this in itself gave our team some confidence as we usually start slow away from home and can be pinned down for the first 5 or 10 mins, but we felt that we could do something here. Banbury soon found their feet and with their first foray into the Wycombe D, earned a short corner. The result of the Banbury shot on goal was the award of a penalty flick due to a foot stopping it on the line. Tash Roberts calmy slotted it away; 1-0 Banbury. Great start!

After 9 mins there was another Banbury attack which saw Zoe Young and Tash combine with Tash’s shot just going past the post. We hadn’t seen much of Wycombe as an attacking threat, but they weren’t top of the league for nothing surely? They started to get into things, moving and passing the ball in the middle of the park, and on 14 mins, with their first attack, they raced through the Banbury line at some pace and put the ball into the net; 1-1. Their speed was quite something and it was clear that Banbury would need to watch this. However, the Banbury ladies were not perturbed and back they came; we saw another Tash Roberts shot just fly past the post after which Wycombe returned the favour, flying forward in numbers, but fortunately one of their players trod on the ball bringing this attack to an end.

On 24 mins Tash won a short for Banbury and another on 27 mins, but neither brought about a score. It was an excellent game of hockey - Banbury, holding on to the ball and passing accurately, and Wycombe flying back at Banbury with amazing dexterity and pace. Another couple of shorts ensued (one each team), but the score remained the same until 1 min from the end of the first half which saw Tash dribbling the ball past a number of Wycombe defenders and no one could stop her hitting the ball into the net; 2-1 Banbury. With the very last play of the half Wycombe earned another short, which fortunately came to nothing.

4 mins into the 2nd half saw a Banbury attack and shot on goal well saved by the Wycombe goalie, so it seemed that Banbury were going to continue where they left off. After more good play from Banbury, 8 mins in saw them with another short, but again this was defended well and nothing came of it. Not to be deterred, Banbury kept up the pressure and after 10 mins of the second half during another foray into the Wycombe D there was a bit of a goalmouth melee during which Molly McCusker couldn’t believe her luck and with the goal beckoning, she hit the ball into the empty net; 3-1 Banbury. The next 10 minutes saw Wycombe throw everything at Banbury, but to be honest, they weren’t making much inroad and the Banbury midfield and defence kept them at arms length, but Banbury were in no way complacent knowing full well how quickly Wycombe can break and score. However, the fact that they weren’t able to do so was frustrating the home team and tempers frayed. As a result Wycombe had a player yellow carded in the last 10 mins – so that was the end of her game. Banbury had one more chance which saw another Tash shot just fly past the post. Despite Wycombe trying their best, being a player down and running out of ideas, they could do nothing to change the game and it ended 3-1 Banbury.

MVP – it was a great team performance, but there could only be one winner – Tash Roberts who seemed to be everywhere and gave it her all.

“This was quite simply a well executed game of hockey where Banbury did all the simple things

right, made very few errors, and played superb together as a team. They frustrated Wycombe and once on top, Banbury were determined not to let it go. It was a fantastic performance by all the Banbury ladies and they managed the end of the game really well, meaning those watching weren’t put through the usual nervy last few minutes….great job, well done!“.

Bryce Wilkinson

Ladies 1s Manager 04/02/23

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