White puts Banbury through in cup thriller

Kyle White hit the sudden-death winner for Banbury against Milton Keynes
Kyle White hit the sudden-death winner for Banbury against Milton Keynes

Banbury came out on top in a thrilling England Hockey Cup first round tie against rivals Milton Keynes.

With the scores level at 5-5 at full-time and level at 4-4 after the first round of the penalty shoot-out, Banbury snatched victory when Kyle White slotted home in the sudden-death finale.

But the penalty drama only followed a thrilling game that swung back and forth after the visitors went 2-0 ahead against the run of play in the first quarter.

Banbury consolidated but failed to convert any chances in the remainder of the first half. The home side got off to a turbo boosted second half with Kyle White slotting home to complete a right sided move within two minutes and the returning Steve O’Connor finishing a scything move through the visitors’ defence within a minute to level.

O’Connor was back on the score sheet only three minutes later as Banbury grabbed the lead looking as if they would be unstoppable. With the home side in full control, Barney Williams finished from close range followed by Harry Loxton getting back on the score sheet to Bnabury 5-2 ahead with only 15 minutes remaining.

But over confidence combined with defensive lapses allowed the visitors to snatch two goals in the space of a minute and set-up a frantic final ten minutes. With Banbury on the attack it looked as if they had done enough to secure victory but another lapse allowed the visitors to equalise in the dying moments.

Unlike the Olympic hockey so many will have watched this summer, the EH Cup games are settled with a first barrage of five penalties for each side followed by sudden-death.

With keeper Scott Reynolds saving the visitors’ second sudden-death flick, White stepped up to settle the tie and book Banbury’s place in the next round.