Leaders are next after the Hawks are sunk

Banbury's Juliet Gardner impressed against Oxford Hawks
Banbury's Juliet Gardner impressed against Oxford Hawks

Banbury travel to South Clubs Women’s Hockey League leaders Wimbledon on the back of a handsome derby success.

A 5-1 victory over Oxford Hawks II saw Banbury move up third place in division two ahead of Saturday’s tough test.

Banbury started well with some excellent build-up play down the left flank with Juliet Gardner, Charli Price and Vic Coombs threatening in attack. Experienced keeper Linda Billington pulled off some fine saves before

Banbury broke the deadlock from a hard low flick to the far corner from Sadie Lapper at a penalty corner.

But lapse in defence left Oxford driving round the byline and they set up the equaliser with an easy tap-in.

After the restart Banbury soon started to play their very characteristic free-flowing hockey which led to them regaining the lead through Aveline Cruickshank following a well drilled short corner.

Now in control with Pip Jones, Matthews, Hayley Nunneley and Sam Humphreys running the midfield, Banbury found space to play in time and time again.

Becca Edwards kept possession of the ball in defence well and consistently set up the midfield and forwards for quick paced attacking moves. Coombs stepped up to score the third goal after some good work from Tasha Nunneley and Lapper.

That was closely followed by another well converted short corner, in which Lapper, helped by a deflection of a defender netted the fourth goal. Hawks worked hard but they were no match for the fit, slick Banbury outfit.

Banbury continued to press and were rewarded with an excellent team goal after some excellent passing all the way through from Atkins up to Matthews who coolly slotted home.