Banbury hovering close to drop zone despite success

Banbury's Natasha Nunneley and Trojans' Hannah Lea battle for possession
Banbury's Natasha Nunneley and Trojans' Hannah Lea battle for possession

It’s looking tight for Banbury to stay outside the South Clubs Women’s Hockey League relegation zone.

Banbury’s weekend double-header resulted in a victory in Saturday’s division two fixture but they were unable to back that up 24 hours later.

Banbury beat Trojans II 5-3 on Saturday despite trailing 2-0 early on.

Trojans put on early pressure but Banbury resisted well with Sadie Lapper playing in a high midfield position, giving the team height and width.

Trojans broke the deadlock after a quick break. Sophie Hills and Emily Dove combined to win a short corner but Trojans scored another breakaway goal.

Banbury got the ball back into the D and won a short corner which Lapper converted with a strong strike. The game continued with firm defending from Banbury and just before halftime a confident run from Victoria Coombs got the ball into the D and Mimi Newsome fired home.

After the restart, Becca Edwards produced some powerful tackles in the defensive third. Dove gave Banbury the lead for the first time, with a well worked goal.

Trojans were rattled but got back on level terms and only some strong tackling from Lapper, Hills and Alice Offord kept them at bay. Excellent midfield play from Victoria Warlow and Jenny Marsh enabled Roberts to restore Banbury’s advantage which Emma Henrikse preserved with an excellent save.

Lapper bagged her second goal of the game to seal all three points.

But Banbury were unable to follow up against East Grinstead II the following day as they lost 5-3.

Warlow gave Banbury the early lead but they lost their shape at the end of the first half and East Grinstead hit three quick goals.

After the restart, Ruth Tuthill set up Dove to reduce the arrears but East Grinstead soon restored their two-goal cushion.

Some two-touch hockey between Warlow and Georgina Verdon set up Roberts to pull another goal but East Grinstead ended any hopes with another goal.