Updated: Jun 5
Banbury Grab the Trophy in Penalty Shoot Out Drama
Banbury HC – 0 (4) East Grinstead HC2s – 0 (3)
Banbury Keeper Kit Lamb's goalkeeping heroics helped fire Banbury to a brilliant Tier 2 Championship title over East Grinstead 2s on a pulsating day of action at Lee Valley National Hockey and Tennis Centre.
After the two sides played out an entertaining stalemate in normal time, man of the match, Kit Lamb thwarted two East Grinstead strikes in the shoot-out to seal a memorable triumph and trigger Sunday night ecstasy among the vocal Banbury travelling contingent.
George Godwin, Will Kellett, Sam Chadbourne and Harry Simons all netted in the shoot-out and keeper Lamb repelled East Grinstead’s Jordan Torrilla's effort to clinch the coveted crown.
Roared on by a raucous crowd in east London, the two sides slugged it out in an intriguing first half as neither were able to capitalise on several promising opportunities. For Banbury Captain Will Kellett, George Godwin and Harry Simons came so close to breaking the deadlock, but the E Grinstead Keeper Jack Egerton pulled off some great saves to deny them.
The second half was just as hotly contested as Josh Nunneley, Darsh Theara, Peter Lamb and Ben Clarke had to work particularly hard in the first 10 minutes to repel the East Grinstead onslaught. The East Grinstead fans had travelled in their numbers and were nearly sent into raptures when Will Denny went close – denied by the brilliant Lamb in goal.
But Banbury also continued to press for a winner. Richard Hobley, Joe Allen, and Josh Nunneley started to settle the defence and enable Tyson Nunneley, James Long, Steve O’Connor and Chadbourne to launch attack after attack down the flanks and it was the E Grinstead keeper, Egerton, who was under pressure as the second half progressed. As a result, Jacob Buckner-Rowley, Godwin and Kellett were able to penetrate the E Grinstead D more and it was Banbury who came closest to snatching it at the death as they enjoyed a dominant spell of four quickfire penalty corners, but Josh Nunneley’s drag flicks were denied by a defiant East Grinstead defence as well as the E Grinstead post.
That sent the game to a shoot-out, and it was Banbury who held their nerve for glory, with keeper Lamb delivering a dazzling display to cap a brilliant day of hockey in the capital.
Banbury Manager, Andy Camp, said: “This is an amazing achievement for the club and players. After the disappointment of losing out on league promotion through goal difference, this is a fitting reward for this talented squad. To come here to the London Stadium and win the trophy in front of our fans is a great ending to a phenomenal season. The Banbury supporters here today were just wonderful – it really lifted the team on the pitch and made the occasion even more memorable. I and the squad would like to thank them all for their nonstop chanting and cheering and we are so pleased we gave them a victory for them to relish!”
Photos by Philip Davies:
Photo: Banbury HC celebrate their victory
Photo: Banbury HC Lift the Trophy
Photo: Sam Chadbourne delivers his penalty shoot out
Photo: Kit Lamb's winning save sends the squad into raptures!!
Photo: O'Connor closes down East Grinstead's Wes Jackson
Photo: The final score, Banbury champions!
Photo: Godwin and Kellett pressurise the East Grinstead Defence
Photo: Nunneley, Godwin and Chadbourne deny the East Grinstead midfield