Bulls fail to hold on to unbeaten run

Banbury Bulls square up to Berkswell & Balsall' in a scrum at Bodicote Park
Banbury Bulls square up to Berkswell & Balsall' in a scrum at Bodicote Park

Banbury Bulls saw their unbeaten start come to an end in Saturday’s Midlands Two West South 14-11 defeat against Berkswell & Balsall.

The visitors came from behind to win it with the last play of the game at Bodicote Park where Bulls put themselves into a winning position but failed to see the game out and were left to rue dropped points.

All the points came in the second half after neither side really got going in the first period with missed penalties on both sides and the visitors just edging it.

After the restart, both sides were guilty of infringements while Banbury’s game plan was to use the accurate left boot of new signing Sam Stoop to press Berkswell & Balsall into their 22. That plan looked to be working and from a counter attack Bulls scored their only try of the game.

Full Back Joe Mills collected the ball on the left touchline and spread it wide to Stoop who broke through the defensive live, he was hauled down short of the line but Bulls won the ball at the ruck and Ed Phillips hit Mills who threw a long miss pass to Josh Deegan who went over in the corner.

Both sides had opportunities before Phillips took over the kicking duties and added two penalties to make the score 11-0.

Berkswell & Balsall knew they had to get the next score and that is exactly what they did with a converted try. After four attempts the Berkswell pack managed to push Banbury over the line after Sean Banister was yellow carded for retaliation.

Bulls stuck to their game plan, pinning the visitors deep into their half, but in the final play of the game Berkswell & Balsall found themselves with a big overlap and ran the ball from deep. Naively, Bulls had four players covering the clearing kick and the pace of the Berkswell winger put paid to any cover defence as he scored in the corner. The extras were added from wide and Berkswell & Balsall took the win.