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Men's 1s Vs. Staines 1s - Saturday 14th January 2023

Nunneley’s Hat Trick Not Enough For Banbury 

Banbury HC Men’s 1s - 4 Staines HC Men’s 1s - 5

Banbury’s unbeaten run came to an end with a 9 goal thriller at Drayton on Saturday. Banbury will rue the fact that they didn’t contain Staines’s counter attacking threat which led to 3 of the goals that the opposition scored. 

It was end to end attacking hockey from the start when in the first minute a pitch length aerial pass from man of the match and hat trick scorer, Josh Nunneley, found Harry Simons in the opposition D who’s strike was well saved by the Staines keeper. One minute later a midfield and defensive slip gave the Staines right wing freedom to attack the Banbury D and pass to an unmarked centre forward who gave Staines the early 1-0 lead with a simple unchallenged flick past Kit Lamb in goal. Banbury then responded well and attacked Staines at pace with Harry Simons and Sam Chadbourne coming close. Banbury’s defence of Darsh Theara, Pete Lamb, Josh Nunneley and the hard working Joe Allen learnt from the early goal and contained the Staines forwards well. Fresh legs came on with Jacob Buckner Rowley and Will Smith creating more problems for Staines. The pressure paid off after 19 minutes when Captain Will Kellett won a penalty corner and Josh Nunneley opened his account with his trademark drag flick to make it 1-1. The Staines keeper was the busiest and pulled off a great double save from Kellett and Tyson Nunneley and then just before half time making another great save from a Josh Nunneley drag flick from a penalty corner won by Tyson Nunneley after a great run into the Staines D. 

The second half kicked off on a much stronger footing for Banbury with George Brooker and Harry Simons particularly taking the game to Staines.  Andrew Scanlon built two great attacks down the right to win a penalty corner which wasn’t converted and then a great pass to Harry Simons who’s vicious tomahawk shot rocketed into the Staines net to give Banbury a 2-1 lead. But Banbury were unlucky just two minutes later after a ball was lifted into Josh Nunneley and the resulting penalty corner was converted by Staines with a drag flick to make it 2-2. Literally two minutes later hard working by Kellett and Chadbourne won another penalty corner which Josh Nunneley converted from a great routine from Scanlon and Tyson Nunneley to give Banbury the lead back at 3-2.  But halfway through the second half Banbury were caught again by a swift right wing attack and a pass to an unmarked forward in the D who made it 3-3 with an unchallenged reverse stick deflection past keeper Lamb. Three minutes later Tyson Nunneley’s strike won another penalty corner which broke down and Staines countered with a surge up the pitch outnumbering the Banbury defence and scoring a sucker punch fourth goal to make it 4-3. Banbury attacked again with Scanlon winning yet another penalty corner which went unconverted and Staines then countered again finding an unmarked forward in the D leaving a 1 on 1 situation with Keeper Lamb who’s challenge was penalised. Staines scored the resulting penalty to give them a 5-3 lead with just ten minutes on the clock.  Banbury then changed formation and threw the kitchen sink at Staines. Buckner Rowley, Chadbourne and Simons

went into overdrive down the flanks feeding Kellett and Tyson Nunneley up front. Kellett won yet

another penalty corner with 5 minutes to go and Josh Nunneley grabbed his hat trick and

Banbury’s  fourth goal with a great drag flick. With two minutes left Scanlon won another penalty

corner which went unconverted, and then was  unlucky not to grab another goal back after his reverse strike was brilliantly saved by the Staines keeper. 

The game finished 5-4 to Staines and but for the Staines keeper Banbury should’ve gained some

points and will rue their inability to convert the penalty corners they won and the poor response to the Staines quick breaks. They still remain top of the league with 3 points clear and a game in hand over rivals Bournemouth but they can’t afford another slip up. 

Banbury Manager Andy Camp said: “we should’ve converted more goals from the chances and

penalty corners we won. We won double the corners Staines got today but couldn’t convert them.

Their keeper had a good day. We also didn’t stem their counter attacks well and suffered 3 sucker punch goals as a result. This is a taste of defeat we haven’t experienced for over a year and we need to use this to kick us back into gear for our next match away to Henley.”

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