Banbury miss the chance to secure status

Banbury's Natasha Roberts and High Wycombe's Milly Lloyd-Hunt battle for possession. Photo: Steve Prouse
Banbury's Natasha Roberts and High Wycombe's Milly Lloyd-Hunt battle for possession. Photo: Steve Prouse

Banbury will have to negotiate a relegation play-off to preserve their South Clubs Women’s Hockey League status.

That’s because they failed to beat Wycombe in their final division three fixture and finish bottom of the table.

Banbury had to beat Wycombe in their final match to avoid the relegation play-offs but let slip a two-goal advantage to draw 3-3 on Saturday. With relegation rivals Buckingham winning 3-2 at Reading it means Banbury will face a relegation play-off later this month involving Chichester and Salisbury at Basingstoke to decide who survives.

Banbury got off to a great start going 1-0 up inside the first minute through Sadie Lapper. But Wycombe quickly replied and equalised through Alia Branmal.

Banbury regained the lead through Natasha Roberts with ionly five minutes played. Banbury continued to play well in the first half, building through a strong midfield of Maddy Hunt, Molly Levene, Caitlin Wassermann and Ruth Tuthill.

Banbury started the second half strongly with a controlled defensive performance from Emma Warlow, Ali Sturla, Rebecca Perkins and Kristina Bull, absorbing early pressure from Wycombe. Banbury increased their lead when Vicky Warlow who finished a great move.

Banbury were clear of the relegation zone with ten minutes to go but Wycombe were not finished and two late goals from Vicky Fallan and Marie Lipscomb earned them a point and left the hosts deflated.