Banbury Men’s 1s Continue their Unbeaten Run with a Win in 1st Round of the Cup
Banbury HC Men's 1s - 3, Rugby HC 1s - 2
Banbury had a difficult away first-round tie in the England Hockey Cup away against their bogie team - Rugby, who is the only team to have beaten Banbury in the friendlies running up to the start of the season.
The first half was a tough competitive affair and it was Rugby who took the lead after just 3 minutes when they won a penalty corner and converted it with a neat move finishing with a powerful deflection past Keeper Kit Lamb’s head into the net. But Banbury responded with a stream of attacks through George Brooker, George Godwin, Harry Simons, and Tyson Nunneley which led to Banbury winning a penalty corner and Captain Will Kellett thundering a drag flick into the Rugby net to even the scores at 1-1.
The rest of the half was scrappy and combative with Banbury edging the chances in the Rugby D through Kellett, Steve O’Connor, and Jacob Buckner Rowley. But just before half time Rugby won another penalty corner which they dispatched with the same deflection move to make it 2-1 going into the break.
The second half was a different affair with Banbury taking the game by the scruff of the neck and pressing Rugby hard. Simons, Long, and Godwin particularly pressed the opposition midfield hard to win possession, and the fast work down the flanks by Tyson Nunneley and Sam Chadbourne led to many more chances created in the Rugby D. This led to an early penalty corner which Man of the Match Josh Nunneley scored with a vicious drag flick to the top right of the Rugby net to make it 2-2. The Banbury defence stepped up with Lamb, Nunneley, and James Perry holding well leaving keeper Lamb with little to do. The winning goal came from another penalty corner won by Banbury with twenty minutes left on the clock, which Josh Nunneley scored with another drag flick rocket high into the Rugby net. Banbury then maintained their attacking hockey creating many chances and managed the game well to the end, securing a second-round draw in the cup to be played in December.
Manager Andy Camp said “this was a great away win against a tough team we’ve always struggled against. The lads really stepped up in the second half to dominate and win the game. We should have converted more chances but it’s another win in our unbeaten run and now we face two league fixtures next week against Maidenhead midweek and then Oxford next Saturday”.
Photo: Captain Kellett bagged the first goal
Photo: Brooker on the hunt in midfield
Photo: Man of the match Josh Nunneley solid at the back and lethal on penalty corners
Photo: Godwin battling hard all game