Business as Usual Resumed for Banbury Men’s 1s
Banbury HC Men's 1s – 2 Oxford BU HC Men’s 1s – 1
This was a must-win game for Banbury against local rivals Oxford if Banbury were to keep their
promotion hopes alive and it was Banbury who grabbed the 3 points in a dominant performance
against a tough Oxford team. The first half was dominated by Banbury but the Oxford keeper, as he did in the away match, pulled off some great saves to keep a clean sheet, and Banbury were
wondering if this was deja vu from the last encounter where the Oxford keeper’s performance was a major factor in them getting the 3 points. The opponents’ D was stormed by captain Will Kellett, George Godwin, and Jacob Buckner Rowley but they couldn’t beat the keeper. Oxford tried to turn the tables on the Banbury defence but Kit Lamb in goal, Pete Lamb, and Darsh Theara stood firm leaving Oxford with little to build confidence before halftime. At the break it was 0-0 and it was Banbury who were the more frustrated team.
The second half was a different game with Oxford coming out of the blocks faster and winning and scoring a penalty corner after 10 minutes. They could have made it 2-0 but for a great save from keeper Kit Lamb diving high to his left to push a vicious shot wide. This woke Banbury up and the hard-working Joe Allen stole and kept possession well in the base of midfield, linking well with Tyson Nunneley, James Long, and George Brooker down the flanks to put immense pressure on Oxford. Steve O’Connor was a constant thorn in the opposition defence’s sides as he worked the ball well to the Banbury forwards winning a stream of penalty corners which the Oxford keeper kept out. The break came at last after 20 minutes when great work by Sam Chadbourne won the 5th penalty corner and man of the match, Josh Nunneley, stepped up to score with a rocket into the top corner of the Oxford net. Tyson Nunneley, O’Connor, and Harry Simons piled yet more pressure on the opposition and George Godwin managed to carve through the Oxford defence to win a penalty corner with just 5 minutes to go. Josh Nunneley scored the winner with his trademark drag flick to bag the 3 points for the home team.
Manager Andy Camp said – “This was a must-win game against a team we should’ve got a result
from before Christmas. The lads worked hard and despite going 1-0 down they stuck to the plan to grab a deserved victory. Hats off to the Oxford keeper who yet again proved difficult to beat. We face Bristol in the England Hockey Cup next Saturday at home then we play the other 2 teams sitting with us at the top of the Premier League – Oxford University and Reading – so it’s going to be a big 3 weeks!”.
Photo: O'Connor was a constant thorn in Oxford's side
Photo: Godwin wins a vital corner which man of the match Josh Nunneley behind him scores
Photo: Tyson Nunnely breaks down the flanks