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Men's 1s Vs. Bournemouth 1s - Saturday 18th February 2023

Banbury Still Top after Battle with Bournemouth 

Banbury HC Men’s 1s - 3 Bournemouth HC Men’s 1s - 2 

Banbury hosted 3rd placed Bournemouth on Saturday and took the 3 points after a hard contested match. This extended their lead at the top of the South Central Premiership by 13

points over second placed Marlow who have a game in hand. 

The game started in bizarre circumstances with Bournemouth playing 11 outfield players after a delayed start as their keeper was late to the pitch. This made it hard for the Banbury team to break down with only one chance for Captain Will Kellett in the first 10 minutes from a great move between Josh and Tyson Nunneley. Bournemouth attacked with more intent and it was the Banbury keeper Kit Lamb who had to make the first save along with Harry Simons and Pete Lamb clearing the lines. 

After 10 minutes the breakthrough happened when Josh Nunneley’s long through pass was expertly deflected by Tyson Nunneley to James Long on the left of the Bournemouth D. Long

placed his flick perfectly into the roof of the Bournemouth net to make it 1-0 to Banbury. Banbury should have extended the lead when Kellett had another chance in front of goal but apart from that Bournemouth kept a tight ship until their keeper came on after 20 minutes. Banbury took more control and two further opportunities went unconverted from two long distance aerials from Man of the Match, Josh Nunneley to Kellett who’s shots were saved. Two minutes before the break Bournemouth grabbed the equaliser after their forward clipped the ball over Kit Lamb and the ball trickled over the line when Josh Nunneley’s clearance deflected off Darsh Theara into the goal. Banbury went into halftime frustrated that they’d not closed the match out in the first half. 

The second half was a more open end to end game which started on the front foot for Banbury as Tyson Nunneley worked hard to win a penalty corner with Kellett and Banbury felt aggrieved not to have won a penalty stroke from it after a defender saved the drag flick on the line. Bournemouth came back at Banbury and Pete Lamb and Harry Simons had to make two critical tackles and clearances to keep the scores level. Banbury turned the game after ten minutes winning two penalty corners off the hard work of Andrew Scanlon and Tyson Nunneley but they along with a great chance for George Brooker from a perfect Scanlon aerial pass, all went begging. The breakthrough came at last after 20 minutes when Tyson Nunneley nicked the ball from a Bournemouth defender and win a penalty corner. Josh Nunneley expertly flicked the ball over the Bournemouth keeper to make it 2-1 after Tyson Nunneley passed the ball across from the right when the corner broke down. Then Banbury gained momentum and Jacob Buckner Rowley, Sam Chadbourne and Simons played havoc down the flanks and five minutes later Buckner Rowley nearly extended the lead narrowly missing from his deflected volley off a pitch long Josh Nunneley aerial pass. Within a minute Buckner Rowley’s hard work won yet another penalty corner which Josh Nunneley converted with a rocket of a flick from Tyson Nunneley’s slip pass. Banbury were now 3-1 up but Bournemouth were determined to get something from this match and the defensive unit of Joe Allen, Sam Pick and Darsh Theara had to work hard to keep the opposition out. Pete Lamb was also at the heart of this for a difficult ten minute period had to make last ditch tackles with Richard Hobley covering back and trying to reset the Banbury

tempo. With 6 minutes left Bournemouth grabbed a goal back after a double save from keeper Lamb with the final flick going past him high into the net. Then Banbury dug in for the final 5 minutes in a frantic period of end to end hockey. Keeper Kit Lamb helped to ensure the win in the last 2 minutes with a fine low stick save to his right from a Bournemouth penalty corner and Banbury finished 3-2 winners and with 3 more points to help ensure their promotion.

Manager Andy Camp said: “We’ve had a couple of really tough games over the last 2 weeks and we’ve really had to dig deep to grind out a win. But the lads have proven they can do this which is the test of a top side. We have a break next Saturday and then we face a critical game against second placed Marlow away. If we win that contest then the premier league promotion is within our grasp.”

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