Dove delivers as Banbury seal victory

Maddy Hunt impressed for Banbury at PHS Chiswick
Maddy Hunt impressed for Banbury at PHS Chiswick

Banbury moved out of the South Clubs Women’s Hockey League relegation zone following their first victory of 2018.

Emily Dove hit the winner as Banbury bounced back from Saturday’s 6-1 thumping against Witney in division two to win 2-1 at PHS Chiswick the next day.

Banbury showed sheer determination and grit throughout and they hit the ground running with confident and strong play. They exhibited real strength and ability on the ball rewarding their efforts with early and threatening attacks against the hosts.

Possession was dominated by Banbury early on, linking up seamless passages of play which distributed the ball into attacking areas of the pitch.

Superb leads from Dove, Vicky Warlow, Jenny Marsh, Natasha Roberts and Maddy Hunt meant the pitch was opened up for Banbury to position the ball in Chiswick’s defending circle. It led to a penalty-flick when a Chiswick defender obstructed the ball on line with their foot and Roberts coolly slotted home to break the deadlock.

Boosted by the goal, Banbury put Havant under continued pressure, maintaining their lead with composed play. The frustration was clear in the home side and the umpires continuously stopped the game for elbowing and pushing.

The umpires awarded three green cards, including Warlow and Marsh, and Chiswick took advantage to equalise just before halftime.

After the restart, strong defending from Becca Edwards, Warlow, Alice Offord and Sophie Hills kept Chiswick out. An early counter attack down the right ended with Miranda Edwards passing into the D where Dove scored a great goal to restore her side’s advantage.

With only one minute to go the home team secured two short corners but Edwards and Ali Woodworth kept Chiswick at bay.