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Men's 5s Vs. Oxford 7s - Saturday 4th March 2023

BHC Men's 5s - 5, Oxford 7s - 1

This week, Tony Buckmaster's Famous Fives returned to the field to take on Oxford 7s. After a tough 1-0 victory in the proceeding away fixture, Banbury were hoping to get on the upper hand from the off at that they did. Instantaneous pressure from Fin Claydon saw Scott Andrews in front of goal within the first 10 seconds, a promising start but no early spoils in front of goal.

A flurry of counter attacks and eventual composure saw Banbury's first successful attack coming into shape. Oli Brough put a ball into Scott Andrews, who swiftly slipped the ball to Archie Holmes who was eagerly waiting on the back post to give Banbury a 1-0 lead. Oxford began to find a little shape in the centre of the park applying some pressure in return, but oncoming threats were seen to with ease by the relentless defensive unit of Ady Lamb, Tony Buckmaster and Roger Mellor-Brook. Also having a strong game and making some crunching challenges was Alfie Buckmaster, dealing with oncoming Oxford traffic with skill. Despite this, Banbury once again got forward, and a bit of mess in the 22 found Scott Andrews guiding the ball around an advancing keeper to make it 2-0.

The score remained the same for the rest of the half, with back and forth hockey keeping what was a packed sideline entertained. Only a few spectators were harmed in the making of this hockey game.

Entering the second half, Josh Perry got a stroke of luck, managing to skillfully guide the ball through the legs of the Oxford defence (complete fluke) and having chased after the ball, slipped it back to Scott Andrews who in turn passed it to Rob Strand who slammed it home for a 3-0 lead.

The quality of the keeping was of great standard as per usual from Jamie Lamb. Clinical in his work, Jamie made a number of saves, one of which was amazing, apparently, I wasn't looking....typical. Unfortunately Oxford did take one goal back toward the middle of the second half to make it 3-1. A special mention goes to one of Oxfords youngest players who commanded them from the centre of the field, an impressive talent. A further sterling performance came from our skipper, Tony Buckmaster. Absolutely relentless in his work, the only thing stopping him today was lactic acid, which eventually got him to the ground in one of the most gruelling of 1v1 duels Banbury might ever have seen. Despite this, Tony was ontop of his game today and this performance gained him MVP. Congratulations Tony!

As the half progressed, Lee Allen came into his own. The lead up to his first goal was quite the spectacle. Scott Andrews delivered what was, quite possibly the sweetest aerial to ever grace the Cherwell 3rd division, which Fin Claydon sent goalward, and Lee Allen tapped over the keeper to secure the game at 4-1.

Banbury weren't done there though. With around 5 minutes left, Josh Perry found himself with the ball in the top right, and after a great deal of messing about I eventually got a ball into Lee, who without fuss turned and delivered the ball to the bottom left corner. Beautiful. The score then remained 5-1 for the duration of the final minutes.

Final mentions go to Lewis Mack whose continued strength in the centre put Banbury in many strong positions. Also to Ben Allen, who commanded Banbury throughout the afternoon and played a strong game himself.

Top result for the Famous Fives this weekend and no doubt a help in the league. Promotion could be in sight this season, an exciting prospect. Before that though, its derby day, as we face Bicester. Availability could be low due to an early push back and 90% of our team being teenagers. Nonetheless it promises to be a belter!

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