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Men's 1s Vs. Rugby 1s - Saturday 17th September 2022

Banbury gets a dose of Reality

Banbury HC Men’s 1s - 1 Rugby HC Men’s 1s - 5

Banbury’s last friendly match v Rugby gave them a wake-up call before next Saturday’s first league match at home to Maidenhead. 

The first ten minutes looked even but following an injury to key player Jacob Buckner Rowley who had to retire early, Banbury imploded and conceded 3 open play goals in a matter of 5 minutes. Rugby took advantage of Banbury’s inability to retain possession in midfield and not defending in numbers to get 3-0 ahead. Banbury recovered to try and build again winning a few penalty corners that Captain Kellett and Darsh Theara couldn’t convert. Rugby then piled on the pressure and two more goals were scored through weak defending before halftime. 

The second half couldn’t have been more different as Banbury came out with far more conviction and purpose-led by Kellett, Harry Simons, and Tyson Nunneley. Within ten minutes Banbury won a penalty corner and Kellett’s vicious drag flick was deflected by a Rugby defender onto the bar and Nunneley was first to the rebound to hammer the ball home with a great volley to grab a goal back. 

More flowing attacks ensued through the hard-working Joe Allen and Sam Chadbourne but Banbury’s attack squandered opportunities that could’ve closed the gap. Youngsters Will Smith and Jonty Duffy came on to provide fresh legs and more attacks and Banbury consequently won a penalty flick. Kellett was unlucky to miss when he hammered the ball against the post with

the keeper well beaten.


The Banbury defence of Theara, Richard Hobley, Josh Nunneley, and Pete Lamb was much tighter with Keeper Kit Lamb just having to make one great sweeping save towards the end of the half. 

The match finished with Banbury frustrated they didn’t get more from the match but at least finished with more discipline and hunger. 

Manager Andy Camp said “well this friendly fixture was a wakeup call. Rugby showed much more purpose and commitment in the first twenty minutes, and we just weren’t at the races. That’s when we lost the game. The league starts next Saturday and for us to get a promotion we need to start each game with the way we played that second half”.

Photo: Simons shows some grit against Rugby

Photo: Will Smith and Simons start to fight back

Photo: Josh Nunneley builds another attack

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