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Mens 1s Vs Winchester 1s - Saturday 25 September 2021

Banbury Kick Off The Season With A Big Win

Banbury Men’s 1s – 6, Winchester Men’s 1s – 3

Banbury put last week’s friendly fixture loss against Rugby well behind them as they stormed to an impressive home win against a tough Winchester team. The first half started fast with Banbury pressurising Winchester for the first five minutes especially down the right through Tyson Nunneley, George Brooker, and James Long, and it was a move through the right flank that found Harry Simons near the Winchester left post who expertly scored with a deft slap following their keeper’s initial save, making it 1-0 to Banbury. But in this end-to-end half of hockey Winchester were by no means a pushover and came back to score the equaliser after 10 minutes with a flick following Banbury Keeper Kit Lamb’s initial great save. Just 5 minutes later a great move through Nunneley, Joe Allen, and James Long fed the ball to George Brooker who was unlucky not to score when his scorching shot hit the Winchester post. Then it was the Banbury defence’s turn to soak up pressure and Joe Allen, Pete Lamb, Darsh Theara, and Sam Chadbourne had to work particularly hard to keep the opposition out. Just before halftime, Winchester won a penalty corner which Kit Lamb saved brilliantly but could not deal with the high volley into the net on his right post. So after a hectic first half, Banbury were left 1-2

down with plenty of work to do. Richard Hobley, the team player-coach, focussed the squad back on to the game plan and the simple but effective pass and move hockey that Banbury excels at.

The second half couldn’t have been more different as Banbury turned on the class and pulled a stoic Winchester apart. Within one minute of the start, a searing pass and run move between Nunneley and Steve O’Connor ripped through the Winchester left flank and found George Brooker at the top right of the opposition D who hammered the ball into the left of the Winchester goal to make it 2-2. Just 4 minutes later great work by James Long, Joe Allen, and Harry Simons led to a penalty corner to Banbury which was expertly scored at a tight angle on the left of the goal by Steve O’Connor to make it 3-2 to Banbury. Winchester were reeling but soon regained their composure to attack Banbury but Hobley, Allen, Charlie Taylor, Theara and the Lambs ensured their efforts came to nothing. Then the excellent Sam Chadbourne on the left and Nunneley on the right attacked the flanks with skill and speed leading the Winchester team to have to fall back and play deeper. This was their undoing as Banbury pressed and Hobley found the marauding O’Connor on the right who then gave a dream pass across the D to Jacob Buckner Rowley who made it 4-2 to Banbury with a first-time volley. Then Theara and Lamb peppered the Winchester defence with a series of aerial passes leading Winchester to make mistakes and give possession away. This led to another Banbury penalty corner and a fierce

drag-flick by Captain Will Kellett to give Banbury a 5-2 lead with 10 minutes to go. Winchester gave it one last attack and clawed a goal back to make it 5-3 with a drag flick off a penalty corner, but Banbury drove the last nail in with 2 minutes left to go when Nunneley hit a perfect 40-yard pass down the right to Steve O’Connor who found Captain Kellett on the left of the Winchester D. Kellett hammered the last goal in from the left to make it 6-3 to Banbury.

Banbury Manager, Andy Camp said: “This was the perfect response to our first loss last week and for our opening game of the season. The team lost focus for 15 minutes in the first half but regrouped at halftime and absolutely pulled Winchester apart in the second half. This shows what we are really capable of when we stick to the game plan. Next week we face Trojans at Southampton away. We need to keep our heads to get that away win.”

Photo: Simons opens the Banbury scoring

Photo: Joe Allen soaks up the Winchester pressure

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