Bulls produce timely first home victory over rivals

Jacob Mills scores the opening try for Banbury Bulls against Reading at Bodicote Park
Jacob Mills scores the opening try for Banbury Bulls against Reading at Bodicote Park

Banbury Bulls finally produced their first home victory of the South West One East campaign and what a day they chose to get it.

On an emotionally charged afternoon at Bodicote Park, Bulls got the result everyone wanted on Tim Rogers’ Presidents Day, in a fitting tribute to the late club stalwart.

Bulls emerged 31-10 victors over Reading in what was a must-win match for both sides at the wrong end of the table.

Facing a stiff breeze, Bulls again conceded the first try as the conditions played their part and made it easier for Reading to pen the hosts in their own half. Despite that, it was Bulls who got on the score sheet next as they opened their account via a penalty from Ed Phillips

That spurred the home side on as they started to look after the ball and, in turn, make their way up the field late in the half.

Following a scrum in the middle of the park, another well worked move from Ed Phillips, Jacob Mills and Josh Deegan produced break on the right. Some neat inter-play and off-loading ended with Jacob Mills going over.

Phillips added the conversion to put Bulls 10-5 up at halftime. That set Bulls up as strong favourites with the elements at their backs in the second half.

And two unanswered tries shortly after the restart put Bulls in control. The first saw Cashel Chillvers power his way over under the uprights after Bulls got in behind the Reading defence, leaving a straight forward conversion for Phillips.

For the second try, Bulls attacked down the left wing, creating an overlap on the right where experienced second row Matt Brock was waiting to score in the corner with Phillips adding the conversion for 24-5 lead.

Reading gave themselves hope with a try following a tap penalty and some weak tackling but that turned out to be little more than a consolation. As soon as the conversion was missed, Phillips was lining his next attempt. Bulls won possession from the kick-off and spread the ball right to full-back Joe Mills who, under extreme pressure, showed great vision and probed a grubber-kick deep into the Reading 22. Winger Deegan beat everyone to the ball, scooped it up and scored in the same motion.

Phillips maintained his 100 per cent kicking record to make it 31-10. Bulls had more chances which they were unable to convert, Sam Mills’ pass to skipper Ian Isham was adjudged forward but Bulls had already bagged the bonus point.