Banbury enterain London Wayfarers in Saturday’s South Premier Hockey League fixture not yet safe from being sucked back into a relegation battle.
Steve Brooker looked on in dismay as ill-discipline, squandered chances and an imploding second half performance saw Banbury thumped 6-2 at rivals Oxford Hawks in Saturday’s division one derby.
Banbury started at a blistering pace but a brilliant performance from the Hawks keeper denied them as they over-ran the home side and rained in shots on the beleaguered defence.
Hawks clung on and then began to counter attack as Banbury began to run out of ideas before Charlie Murphy’s long ball out of defence found Harry Loxton who beat two defenders to crash the ball home. But skipper Steve Campbell was mysteriously sin-binned for ten minutes and Jack Biggs equalised before halftime.
The home side started the second half far more positively and, with both sides continuing to be bemused by many of the umpiring decisions, began to take advantage of the visitors plagued by a succession of yellow cards to take a two-goal lead through Biggs and Matt Woods.
Banbury fought back and the in-form Loxton reduced the arrears with his second goal of the game. But it was the home side who accelerated away as the visitors began to make simple errors in increasingly desperate efforts to claw a way back into the game.
Hawks went on to score three more goals in the last five minutes through Biggs and Woods, who both both completed hat-tricks, to secure a well-deserved four-goal advantage which they held till the end.
Banbury will need to beat London Wayfarers as there is still the possibility of four teams being relegated.