Nunneley bags a brace but Banbury fail to take points

Natasha Nunneley bagged a brace for Banbury at Oxford
Natasha Nunneley bagged a brace for Banbury at Oxford

Banbury will be looking to build on their encouraging start to life in dvision two of the South Club’s Women’s Hockey League when they entertain Epsom on Saturday.

After their first defeat of the season against Wimbledon last week, Banbury recovered to share the spoils in a 3-3 draw with rivals Oxford on Saturday.

Twice Banbury led in the second half of Saturday’s game but were pegged back each time by the hosts.

Oxford started the strongest, taking the lead early on in the first half.

Despite the early blip, Banbury kept their heads up and continued to apply attacking pressure and were eventually rewarded with a penalty flick which Vic Coombes slotted away.

Banbury started the second half stronger but Oxford didn’t sit back either and put pressure on the Banbury defence requiring some solid defending by Hayley Nunneley, Holly Johnson, Serena Goodhart and Juliet Gardner.

Great movement in Banbury’s midfield led to a break down the middle of the pitch allowing Natasha Nunneley and Aveline Cruickshank to pass around the Oxford defence. Nunneley took full advantage of the space, putting Banbury into the lead for the first time.

But Oxford responded quickly and they were soon back on level terms. Banbury were not ready to settle for a draw and pushed again, resulting in a second goal from Nunneley.

But again Oxford responded quickly, producing another equaliser with only a few minutes of the game left. Banbury never gave up in their pursuit of the victory, winning their fifth short corner of the game but their late efforts were to no avail.