Bulls stay on course for double after cup victory

Banbury Bulls celebrate their Oxon Knockout Cup victory. Photo: Simon Grieve
Banbury Bulls celebrate their Oxon Knockout Cup victory. Photo: Simon Grieve

Banbury Bulls remain on course for a memorable season after they lifted the Oxon Knockout Cup for the first time in 16 years.

The Midlands Two West South leaders beat Henley Bulls 28-5 in Wednesday’s final at Iffley Road.

James Kerr’s boys dominated the first half and established a healthy advantage which Henley were unable to bridge.

Skipper Ed Phillips slotted over an early penalty to settle any nerves and that set Bulls up for a storming first half display. Phillips soon added another penalty before Henley’s ill-discipline culminated in Andrew Grant being sin-binned.

Phillips kicked another penalty before Henley were back up to full strength but Bulls’ pressure paid off when Josh Deegan latched on to Phillips’s miss-pass to go over in the corner and his skipper added the extras for 16-0 lead.

Bulls deservedly scored another try when a catch and drive ended with Sean Bannister racing over. Phillips again came up trumps with a tricky conversion.

Bulls always had the edge on Henley in the scrum who missed an opportunity to get on the score sheet just before halftime when Luke Govier’s penalty was off target.

After the restart Henley finally found some form and Martin Nutt went over but Govier was again off target with his conversion attempt.

Bulls had to defend for a period as Henley looked to get back into the contest but their hopes all but ended on the hour mark when Jack Bradshaw was sin-binned.

This time Bulls took advantage with James Burge making good ground before releasing Jimmy Manley who found a way through.

For once, Phillips was unsuccessful, his conversion hitting the upright but Bulls had already done enough to lift the cup.