Mens 1s vs Marlow and Birmingham Uni - Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September 2021

Banbury’s Unbeaten Run Up to the New Season Continues


Saturday - Banbury HC Men’s 1s - 4, Marlowe Men’s 1s - 3


Sunday - Banbury HC Men’s 1s - 3, Uni of Birmingham - 3


Banbury continued their unbeaten run with a win and a draw over the weekend making it 5 matches unbeaten with one week to go before the league season starts. 


On Saturday against Marlow, Banbury were back on top of their game for the first half running their opponents ragged and scoring 3 goals in 30 minutes with some blistering attacking moves from Joe Allen, George Godwin, Tyson Nunneley and Harry Simons in midfield feeding the talented trio upfront: Steve O’Connor, Will Kellett and Jacob Buckner Rowley. 


The opening goal came from Captain Kellett with a vicious reverse stick strike into the Marlow goal. But the pressure didn’t stop there as Charlie Taylor made a crucial block tackle and then released O’Connor to smash a pass across the Marlow D for the sprinting Buckner Rowley to score number 2 from a delightful deflection. Marlow were clearly rocked and when Godwin

carved his way through Marlow’s midfield and defence to win a penalty corner which Josh Nunneley despatched with a sublime drag-flick to make it 3-0, Marlow looked on the ropes. 


Darsh Theara and Nunneley kept the pressure on the opposition with some great distribution and tacking, but just before half-time Marlowe rallied and won a penalty corner which they scored from a low drag flick. 


The second half put Banbury under more pressure and Josh Nunneley, Sam Chadbourne and Keeper Kit Lamb particularly excelled with some great last ditch defending and deft saves.


Marlowe scored again midway through the second half with an excellent strike into the top of the net to make it 3–2 and the Banbury defence then rode the storm with Taylor, Hobley, and Joe Allen working particularly hard to stem the attacks. Banbury then got their 4th goal with ten minutes to go when captain Kellett bagged his second with a great interception and a rocket of a shot into the corner of the Marlow goal.


Marlow got their 3rd after Lamb made a great double save but couldn’t stop the third shot slipping under him.  The game finished 4-3 to Banbury who then faced the University of

Birmingham the following day. 


The Sunday game against the University of Birmingham was a tight affair. Banbury dominated the first 20 minutes but couldn’t convert all that pressure into goals and it was the University after 20 minutes who won a penalty corner and scored with a strike to give them a 1-0 lead, and it stayed that way until the second half when two minutes in Harry Simons hammered a volley in after a sublime move down the left from Richard Foreman to the ever-busy Buckner Rowley who skilfully lobbed the keeper to find Simons on the far post. 


At 1-1, both defences held well with Josh Nunneley, Felix Webb, Darsh Theara working hard to turn over the Uni attacks. Keeper Jamie Lamb made some great saves and Rob Taylor and Neil Sollis had to soak up a lot of pressure deep in defence. The Uni made it 2-1 to them when a great run through the Banbury midfield created room for a rocket of a shot at the top of the D. But

Banbury did not falter and James Long, George Godwin, and Harry Simons started to dominate midfield leading to Captain Kellett scoring the equaliser with a strong hit and deflection across and into the Uni goal. Simons then made it 3-2 to the home side when Buckner Rowley’s pass found him on the top of the D and his strike hammered into the goal. 


With two minutes left the Uni got their equaliser after winning a penalty corner which Jamie Lamb saved but couldn’t stop the excellent volley that followed. The game ended all square at 3-3. Banbury Hockey Men’s 1s manager, Andy Camp, was satisfied with the progress so far saying: “We’ve now had 3 wins and 2 draws leading up to the new season. The lads worked very hard this weekend and we played some sublime hockey. But we need to work harder on our game control and possession to be really effective for the first league match in two weeks”. 


Banbury plays Rugby HC at home next week for their final friendly.


Photo: James Long takes on the Birmingham Uni midfield...

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