Banbury and Oxford shared the spoils again as they drew 3-3 in Saturday’s South Clubs Women’s Hockey League fixture.
Oxford started the game strongly and Banbury struggled to get a grip. With Becca Edwards missing, Becca Atkins stepped into defence but Oxford were quick to break through the slightly unsettled defence and take an early lead.
Banbury could not find their forward line which made it difficult to create chances and Oxford broke through for a second time to double their advantage.
With the forwards totally marked out of game, it was up to the midfield line to exploit the space Aveline Cruickshank and Sadie Lapper were making.
Vic Coombs linked well with Samantha Humphreys and Charlie Matthews to drive through the centre and hammer the ball into the top right corner.
Banbury continued their intensity and had a firm grip on the game at halftime even though they were trailing.
After the restart Oxford came back hard but, with experienced midfielder Pip Jones and defence stalwart Juliet Gardner, Banbury stood firm, Banbury pressed the ball well and Oxford were forced into making mistakes.
Banbury equalised when a short corner was awarded after some neat play by Lapper. Coombes stepped up to flick the ball goal wards and the ball was deflected in by Lapper on the left post.
Banbury had all the pressure now and, with Charlie Price having another fine game at right back, managed to feed the ball up to midfield to win another penalty corner which Coombs converted.
Banbury played some great defensive hockey but just before the end Oxford broke into the D with a long pass to earn a late point despite the efforts of Lotty Andrews.