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Men's 1s Vs. Bournemouth 1s - Saturday 25th March 2023

Banbury Battle at Bournemouth and Bag 3 Points

Banbury HC Men’s 1s – 1 Bournemouth Men’s 1s – 0

After fireworks of last week promoted Banbury showed the grit that will be needed against higher League opposition next season in, at times, a combative affair against determined opposition. Banbury should have come away with a bigger win but the 1-0 result and the home loss for second placed Marlow meant Banbury extended their lead back too 13 points at the top of the Southern Premiership league.

Banbury fielded a small squad due to availability but dealt well with this by dominating possession as well as dealing with the challenging local pitch and home crowd conditions.

Banbury started the half showing their fast and effective attacking pass and move hockey with man of the match Andrew Scanlon again dominating the right and creating many chances through his pitch long distribution to bypass the Bournemouth midfield . Within the first 5 minutes Scanlon set up George Brooker with a long aerial pass who took the ball into the Bournemouth D and placed a perfect Pass to Captain Will Kellet, but Kellett was unable to convert the chance as his shot went over the bar. This summed up much of the first half with good approach play not being rewarded as more chances were not converted in spite of winning 4 penalty corners.

Bournemouth were no roll over and made good headway to create chances in front to goal again drawing outstanding performances from Sam Pick and Pete Lamb I defence and a fine save from Kit as he stretched across the goal to parry a fierce shot wide and keep the scores level. Sam Pick completed the half with a great interception tackle and turnover to keep the score even at 0-0 at half time.

The second opened with greater promise as Tyson Nunneley broke down the right to find Harry Simons whose rifled reverse stick shot went very narrowly wide in the first minute followed moment later as a penalty corner finally clicked to draw a magnificent save from Scanlon’s drag flick off the line and then a series of corners won by Banbury were scrambled away. But the pressure finally told when a goal line scramble following another Banbury penalty corner gave Sam Pick the chance to force the goal home off a defender on the line to give the visitors a deserved lead.

Jacob Buckner-Rowley up front came very close twice to extending the lead with two opportunities firstly created from a great move involving a lovely pass and move attack though Tyson Nunneley, Harry Simons and George Brooker and the second from Tyson Nunneley surging into the opposition D. More squandered chances for the visitors followed after Joe Allen, Josh Nunneley and Sam Chadbourne took control of the midfield but this still did not pay off as chances went missing. Bournemouth further tested the Banbury defence giving the chance for Chadbourne, Josh Nunneley and Allen the chance to show their metal and the match finished with Banbury taking to points but rueing the chances and penalty corners won to Bournemouth’s dearth of any corners for the whole match.

Banbury’s assistant manager, Steve Brooker, said “Banbury showed us today why we are the promoted team against a tough top 4 Bournemouth team as we ground out a difficult away win. We need to work harder on being more clinical in front of goal which will be critical in next year’s national league. Next week is promoted Banbury’s last league game to close the season out against Slough. We want say goodbye to the league on a high”.

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