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Men 1s Vs. Henley - Saturday 9 October 2021

Banbury Extend Unbeaten Run and Stay Equal Top

Banbury HC Men’s 1s – 2 Henley HC Men’s – 2

After three league matches, Banbury Men’s 1s are equal top of the South Central Premiership 1

league with Oxford University. This week they travelled to mid-table Henley and fought out a draw in spite of having four key players unavailable. The first half was a real battle with Henley under pressure from good Banbury possession but always dangerous on the break, and this is how Henley took the lead after 17 minutes when Banbury over-committed in attack and lost possession leaving Henley outnumbering the Banbury defence and Kit Lamb in goal facing an unmarked forward who hammered the ball high into the net. This spurred Banbury on though and at last, they started to make more dents in the Henley defence through the great work down the flanks with Tyson Nunneley and Sam Chadbourne creating mayhem. Jamie Boardman came very close to getting the equaliser when he swept the ball just past the Henley right post and numerous other chances went begging. Just 7 minutes before halftime Richard Hobley found dangerman, George Godwin, with a perfect pass down the left. Man of the Match Godwin skilfully carved his way through 4 Henley defenders and dummied the Keeper before flicking the ball into the next by the left-hand post to make it a deserved 1-1 at the break.

The second half saw Banbury again with more possession and more opportunities in the Henley D. The hard work of Godwin, Harry Simons, James Long and Joe Allen in midfield linking with Captain Will Kellet upfront paid off with a string of penalty corners won and giving Banbury a 2-1 lead when after 20 minutes Darsh Theara drag flicked with perfect precision into the bottom left of the Henley goal. Henley responded by throwing everything at the Banbury defence but keeper Lamb, Charlie Murphy and Josh Nunneley stood their ground with some great saves and defending. Henley won one of their only 2 penalty corners in this period and the first was brilliantly cleared off the line at shoulder height by Hobley. With just 5 minutes to go, however, Banbury lost focus and Henley’s efforts paid off with a harsh second penalty corner award which they scored with some clever switch play to make it 2-2 with just two minutes left on the clock. The match ended 2-2 but Banbury’s unbeaten league run continues, and they remain top of the league. They get a rest next weekend and then face Rugby HC in the national cup on the 23rd of October.

Manager Andy Camp said “We felt we should have come away with a win today, especially given that our opportunities to score were double Henley’s. We naively lost concentration in the last 5 minutes of the match when we really should have managed the game more effectively, and we paid the price. I was, however pleased with how the players who came into the squad stood up to the challenge and covered effectively for the missing players. We are still top and now we go into the national cup competition with some good momentum.”

Photo: Long and Godwin close in

Photo: Murphy makes a tackle

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